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Cornell University Library 
The life of Naomi Norsworthv 

3 1924 031 387 792 


The original of tliis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 


_ /l.'i/'Z'iUi^-^^-y'T^'C''^iY . 







Publithtd January iqiS 


Foreword by Dean James E. Russell vii 

I. Introductory i 

II. The Mother i8 

III. The Early Years 39 

IV. The Student Years S5 

V. The Years at Teachers College . 71 

VI. The Closing Years 103 

VII. Characteristics 125 

VIII. Some Attitudes and Beliefs . . .156 

IX. Bits of Letters 175 

X. Favorite Poems 214 

XI. Memorial Service 227 

Index 239 


How shall one tell the life-story of another? 
The attempt is foredoomed to failure. Even if 
it were possible to trace mechanically every ac- 
tion to its source, it would take a lifetime to tell 
the story. The author of this book is fortunate, 
it seems to me, in that she has not sought to 
write a detailed biography or make a sketch 
or give a portrait of Naomi Norsworthy. It is 
rather a tribute of a friend to a friend, with just 
enough detail to show why that friendship was 
close and reciprocal. 

The most striking characteristic of Miss Nors- 
worthy was her genius for friendship. No stu- 
dent of hers, no casual acquaintance even, but 
felt drawn to her as if by a magnet. Her attrac- 
tion was enhanced by rare intellectual powers 
and by her gift of logical exposition. But it was 
not her intellect that brought her friends; it was 
a boundless sympathy welling up from a heart 
genuinely interested in others' welfare. She met 
every advance more than halfway, and she gave 
unstintingly of herself to all who sought her aid. 

This ability to reach out to the other person, 


to interpret another's need, and to give sym- 
pathetic assistance from a rich store of scholarly 
attainments was what made her a great teacher. 
She never taught to entertain; she made no 
pretense of calling hard things easy or crooked 
things straight. Master of herself through sys- 
tematic discipline, she knew how to inspire 
others to meet difficulties courageously. Her 
standards of success were found in the perform- 
ance of duty, and to these standards she held 
both herself and her students. 

There was withal in her something of the Pur- 
itan. Her lovable nature, cheerful disposition, 
and largeness of heart were tempered with a 
natural reserve and controlled by a searching 
conscience that often led her into conflict with 
herself. In time of stress she needed a confes- 
sor. The revelation of herself at such times dis- 
closed the weakness of the woman and the 
strength of the devotee. Had she been born in 
another faith or in an earlier age, she might 
have been the Mother Superior of a religious 
order. As it was, she became a teacher, and, 
faithfully following in the footsteps of the Mas- 
ter, she spent herself that others might have life 
and have it more abundantly. 

James E. Russell. 




No one knowing the radiant personality that 
was Naomi Norsworthy will question the reason 
for her life-history; none but will question the 
possibility that words or portraiture can be 
found to carry over that radiance and that per- 
sonality in any satisfying way to others so un- 
fortunate as never to have known her. Many 
times since her death, hundreds have remarked 
their desire for some written memorial that 
might crystallize about her name an interpreta- 
tion, however faint, of her life and its ideals, 
wonderfully made manifest in her daily coming 
and going. All of us have known the human 
need of some tangible thing about which associa- 
tions may gather; we desire to treasure keep- 
sakes of those who have left us, to talk of them, 
to hear others talk of them, to find in such 


utterances confirmation and approval of our 
own sense of values. To ignore the dead is un- 
forgivable; we would remember, and in remem- 
bering, find faint solace. She was too rare a 
being for her life to pass unchronided, — a be- 
lief so universally felt and expressed that it is 
both justification and plea for this biography. 

Let none think the undertaking has been 
lightly entered upon. On the contrary, it has 
been essayed with full knowledge of the impos- 
sibility of ever depicting her as the vibrant, 
life-giving thing she was. To attempt to re- 
create any image of her would be but a mock- 
ery, foredoomed, was not that attempt hal- 
lowed by the hope of becoming an expression 
that somehow may serve the high purpose of 
thrilling into lasting being memories already 
enshrined in hearts throughout this country. 
Many lives she touched but faintly, hampered 
by mutual limits of time and chance, and these 
have not forgotten her; other lives she wrought 
deeply upon, even to the changing of currents 
and shores, and these have not forgotten her. 
All have wished for an avenue of expression for 
their vast regret for her too-soon end; they will 
welcome pages that will help bring back memo- 


ries and thoughts of her. The words of one la- 
menting naessage, that came during the last 
days of her fated suffering, said: "Hearts, 
North, South, East, West, are praying for you, 
remembering all you have been to them and 
to that broader world where you have helped 
them better to aspire." These hearts that, 
knowing, loved her, and the things for which she 
stood, who have desired some memorial in words, 
however impotent, to bind together the simple 
facts of her life in a lasting form, are the inspira- 
tion of this record. 

It is but fair to make clear in the beginning 
the difficulties that beset the delineation. Two 
obstacles especially to be considered are: first, 
the lack of data concerning Dr. Norsworthy; 
and second, the discouragement engendered by 
a thousand assurances as to the insuperability 
of the task of ever putting into form any just 
idea of her personality. To these two difficulties 
may be added a third, Miss Norsworthy's in- 
stinctive distaste for publicity of any kind, a 
fact which makes "the little of that little" on 
record scarcely available for use. That there is 
slight material to draw on for a biography is 
not surprising to any one who knew her. She 


believed that nothing pertaining to herself could 
matter; she minimized all she achieved, so that 
there is less material concerning her than may- 
be found about the ordinary person. Even 
those exponents of the usual life commonly used 
as biographic material, letters, are scarcely to 
be had. It is not that they do not exist in scores, 
for they do, but that they are so intimate and 
peculiar to those persons to whom they were 
written that a natural and proper reticence for- 
bids their printing as wholes. She did much 
public speaking, at religious gatherings, teach- 
ers' conventions, and mothers' meetings, but al- 
ways from the fewest possible notes. Who that 
has heard her speak can forget the rapid utter- 
ance, the quick mentality, and ready enthusi- 
asm that characterized these talks ? Her method 
was personal, the free exchange of intimate in- 
tercourse; formal presentation in written speech 
appealed to her not at all. The expressions of 
her professional self that she felt constrained to 
undertake on pressure from those friends and 
advisers who thought her too good a leader not 
to produce, the two books, the "Psychology of 
Childhood" and "How to Teach," on which 
she spent part of the last two or three years of 


her life were destined to be thrown into final 
shape by hands other than her own. In her 
busy existence she wanted to leave behind no 
ungathered scraps for others to clear away, and 
in consequence there is slight testimony which 
might serve to help set forth her life. 

And what of the second obstacle, the dis- 
couragement fostered by the attitude of those 
who well knew her as to the hopelessness of 
making alive any word-image ? If is oppressive. 
This atmosphere of the impossible task is in- 
tensified by the knowledge of her own shrink- 
ing from analysis or observation. Granted that 
achievement for adequate portraiture is not to 
be, yet there may be wrought out an obscure 
likeness that somehow, somewhere, may bring 
back a fresher understanding of her contribution 
to the world — a life wrought in harmony with 
the higher spiritual laws of being. Her days 
were more than a mere series of incidents; they 
were records of deep spiritual experiences. By 
virtue of such living, her worth was recognized 
and her power made manifest. Not to see this 
strength is to miss the essential fact; it is to 
know naught of 

"The Hills where her life rose, 
And the Sea where it goes.". 


Miss Norsworthy was a person about whom 
It was easy to be curious. Succeeding genera- 
tions of students at Teachers College puzzled 
over the secret of her personality, and found 
great pleasure in comparing conclusions. Sev- 
eral legends grew up around her name, none of 
which, it is scarcely needful to say, is true. 
"The mystery of a person," says Carlyle, "is 
ever divine to him that hath a sense of the god- 
like." It was the strong spiritual quality in 
her that appealed provokingly to the univer- 
sal "sense of the god-like" in others. "What 
makes her like that?" "Did you ever see any 
one just like her?" "What is the secret of her?" 
were some of the ever-recurring questions asked 
in the attempt to penetrate this mystery of the 
divine in the human. Those nearest her might 
smile patiently, — for had they not heard these 
same questionings for years ? — and yet neither 
time nor chance nor change could bring them 
any nearer the reading of the riddle. Close 
friends were as far from its solution as the 
most remote. One can but wonder if there was 
not mixed much of this spirit of curiosity, how- 
ever unconscious, in the desire to crowd about 
her, to draw from her. Who that knew her daily 


life but knew the insatiate desire of friends and 
acquaintances to be with her? 

The mystery of a person is divine, as Carlyla 
says, but mystery it remains. In a temperament 
like Miss Norsworthy's, it is not only elusive; 
it is also alluring. Wherein icould have lain the 
secret of her power over human hearts? There, 
is nothing subtle in the outward facts of her bi- 
ography. The child of parents who had adopted 
this country after their first youth had passed, 
and who scarcely ever felt other than alien here; 
thrust into the life of a great city, she had no 
influential friends save of her own making, no 
financial means save from her own striving. 
Frail in reality no less than appearance, pro- 
fessing no genius nor prowess of any kind, 
scorning means of advancement that would 
have been of mere seeming value, Naomi Nors- 
worthy, by sheer weight of will and the purity 
and power of her spiritual ideals, made for her- 
self a distinguished place peculiarly her own in 
the greatest professional school in America. 

It may be said that at no time did Miss 
Norsworthy hold a conspicuous position in her 
profession. Her rank in Teachers College was 
that of Associate Professor in Educational Psy- 


chology, surely one unassuming enough. When 
opportunities came for seeming advancement, 
offers of posts of influence in other institutions, 
she somehow could not put away the idea that 
she belonged to Teachers College. She was much 
in demand all over this country for talks on 
child-study, demands she was indifferent about 
meeting, largely because she felt her work suf- 
fered from them. Her niche she felt to be there 
in the daily round of duties and people in 
Teachers College. 

What made her the power that she was? The 
iteration of the question is its only answer. All 
knew her as a woman of great simplicity. She 
had tastes notably feminine; she lacked one 
kind of aggressiveness, a cause for reproach 
among those of her friends who felt she should 
be stirred to action on the score of Suffrage. 
She was straightforward to a degree, frankly 
unpretentious, fun-loving, full of the teasing 
spirit of the child, and yet these attributes have 
in them nothing of distinction, possessed as 
they are by thousands of women who never 
wake others by the inspiration of personal 
charm. In such characteristics as these can be 
found no reason why "Hearts, North, South, 


East, West," should turn to her for inspiration. 
It is trite to say there is no answer to the mys- 
tery of such people. The secret must remain an 
inescapable spur to the thoughts of all of us 
who know them, children of the lavish gifts that 
they are. With nothing of the zeal of the re- 
former, or the mania of the enthusiast, Miss 
Norsworthy professed complete assurance in 
but one thing, the worth of the Pattern to which 
her life was consecrated. She never in any re- 
mote way knew her power over others ; she only 
knew the fullness of her desire to meet others' 
needs, to respond to them, to serve them, in all 
humility. This attribute, her great desire for 
consecrated service, helped to mould her into 
the nobly great leader that she was. 

Again and again has been remarked by hun- 
dreds of those who studied under her how she 
could put confidence into her students, imbuing 
them with a new belief in their knowledge and 
ability, filling them, seemingly, with something 
of her own quick perceptions and powers of 
expression. There was necromancy in it! Others 
aspired to her aspirations for them, rose to levels 
hitherto unknown to themselves. Her subtle 
understanding and encouragement fused them- 


selves through all reserve, or uncertainty, or 
other hindering thing, and one spoke a new and 
pleasant language. He had found himself! 

There can be no question that the secret of 
this revivifying power had its answer hidden as 
effectively from Miss Norsworthy as from those 
who were so curiously interested in it. All who 
knew her acknowledged and gloried in this in- 
spirational gift; to her it remained unknown. 
Whenever any one was so bold as to refer to it, 
the reference was met with a scornful denial of 
the existence of this power in her. " It is n't so" 
was the terse refutation with which she silenced 
such comments about herself. Yet all who knew 
her, however slightly, all who bitterly deplore 
her loss to the world, have felt it and been grate- 
ful for it. 

A thought inexpressibly sad is that the tin- 
gling charm of such a person is forever untrans- 
latable. For those who did not know her there 
can be little meaning in saying, "This she was." 
For, after all, one can but despair of giving a 
vital conception of what she really was. To no 
other woman known to most of us can so justly 
be applied Wordsworth's well-known character- 
ization : 


"A Spirit still, and briglit, 
With something of an angel light." 

Stress must be put on the fact of Miss Nors- 
worthy's distaste for any form of publicity. 
Reserve is not the correct name for what is here 
referred to, strong though her reserve was; it 
is a more fundamental, a less conscious thing. 
To her eyes, the facts of her life, inward or out- 
ward, were of no concern to herself or to others. 
She never spoke of herself or her past. It is an 
odd fact that incidents of her childhood and up- 
growing, such as remain with most people ais 
pleasant reminiscences to be smiled over and 
recounted in the mellow light of the years, were 
with her as blank as though they had never been. 
This fact is, of course, the outcome of the habit- 
ual minimizing of herself and all appertaining to 
that self. She was in and of to-day; the past was 
secure, the future to be met, but to-day was 
hers, to be lived to its fullest. Her own past or 
its ideas did not matter to her, and never were 
they allowed to obtrude themselves between 
her and those who cared to draw upon what 
that past had made her. Neither objectively 
nor subjectively was she interested in herself. 
Every question from any source about her or 


her past, what she liked or had done, never 
failed to elicit the one answer: "Don't ask me; 
I do not remember." Being pressed, she would 
laugh off the questioner till he was forced to 
believe she not only did not remember, but 
did not care to. Her life did not know, seemed 
never to have known, one moment of self- 
centeredness or introspection. From her view- 
point she had been brought to the passing mo- 
ment happily, consciously filled with the deep 
desire to make each second yield its fullest, be 
it freighted with keen joy or crowning sorrow;' 
and so occupied was she lest she should miss the 
fullest of the present that the perspective seems 
to have left slight impress. The attribute that 
might casually be taken for personal reserve 
was rather the lack of any serious taking-of- 
herself; it was a perfect absence of all self-con- 
sciousness, so rare a human quality that its 
presence as a marked trait might of itself have 
given to her character distinction. 

Notably different from others, also, was the 
way in which Miss Norsworthy accepted the 
loving appreciation of the many who, realizing 
her value, tried to find expression for that recog- 
nition. It never seemed to occur to her that she 


had such tributes of appreciation more often 
than most people, certainly never that it was so 
because she deserved them more. These count- 
less evidences of the good-will and friendship of 
others she considered but parts of a chorus by 
which all knowing hearts swell the volume of 
life's music, means employed by comrades to 
cheer one another on the Open Road. Always 
they made her very happy, because they whis- 
pered of that spirit of comradeship. 1 
A detailed study of Dr. Norsworthy's charac- 
ter belongs rightly to a chapter other than an 
introductory one, yet it seems but proper that 
here in the beginning should be the stressing of 
what, after all, was the keynote of that wonder- 
ful life, — the vast prodigality with which she 
gave of time, of strength, of self, of all she had 
and was. Many times has been commented the 
possibility that in this lavish spending might be 
found a remote reason for her death at thirty- 
nine. How royally she did give! With the full- 
ness of morning, never reckoning on what wide 
horizon might fall the richness, she poured out 
her numbered days. When those who would 
have had her spare herself, particularly during 
the last years of her life, grew brave enough to 


remonstrate over her serious lack of self-con- 
sideration, her answer to all had the one burden, 
"What does it matter? I shall not live to be old 
anyway, and why not let me live while I can? 
Each of us must find the way best for one's self, 
and this is mine." How truly based was her 
prophetic feeling as to the shortness of her life 
was little dreamed by those nearest her who 
could but grieve over her excessive prodigality. 
There was something primitive in the waste- 
fulness of this generosity. She was a sower who 
scattered seeds lavishly, remembering, it may 
be, how few of them are humanly destined for 
fruitful soil. Never too tired, never too busy, 
never too ill was she for a patient listening to all 
the plans and troubles and aspirations brought 
to her by a world of perplexed and weary people 
who through her learned again their simple 
faith in the possibility of perfect human sym- 
pathy. This note of universality in her, so in- 
tense and unfailing, endeared her to thousands 
whom helping, she inspired. 

It is evident that a character like Miss Nors- 
worthy's has difficulties of delineation apart 
from the eluslveness of its personal charm; she 
was at once simple and complex, wholly sim- 


pie in her lack of all consciousness or assump- 
tion, and wholly complex in her vast responsive- 
ness, in the ease with which she entered into 
countless natures seemingly different from her 
own. Her richness and depth and range vi- 
brated constantly to the thousand lives about 
her; and in every such person is a profundity 
born not so much of reality as of circumstance. 
There is an ideal of the ancient Greeks thus 
expressed: "The man whose senses, imagina- 
tion, and reason are unfolded in their highest 
reach ; who has the keenest eye, the surest hand, 
the truest ear, the richest voice; whose life 
moves on in rhythmical accord with God, na- 
ture, man, with no discord to break its monot- 
ony and to be resolved in the harmony of its 
peaceful and painless close: this is the ideal 
being whose nature is unfolded without imper- 
fection or sin to perpetual happiness and joy<" 
Could a better description be found for her who 
so "held the pass-key of hearts"? 



An adequate understanding of Miss Nors- 
worthy's life is scarcely possible unless due 
prominence is given to the factor that her mother 
was therein; so this chapter shall be devoted to 
the mother, a woman no less unusual than the 
daughter. Between them was intimate friend- 
ship, a close kinship, but more of character than 
of temperament. How very proud they were of 
each other 1 Miss Norsworthy said " my mother " 
in a tone that breathed an exultant note of joy 
in a valued possession; she never failed to make 
her mother known to any one whom she wished 
especially ta honor. 

Mrs. Norsworthy was the peculiar genius as 
well as the undenied autocrat of her family 
throughout her life. Her children could but feel 
that they owed their all to her ambition and 
forcefulness. She possessed the reticence, the 
pride, the dogged persistence, and the indomit- 
able 'pluck of your true Briton. That she was 


English she never forgot, and she took pains to 
live up to the finer traditions of her race. 

Eve Ann Norsworthy, nee Modridge, was 
born in Broadclyst, Devonshire, England, in 
1844. Her father seems to have been fairly well- 
to-do. She must have been a vigorous child, for 
she was a woman of enduring physical pow- 
ers. Miss Modridge was educated at a "young 
ladies' seminary," the principal of which was the 
maiden aunt of Mr. Norsworthy. Through this 
aunt, she met her future husband while visiting 
her former teacher at Torquay, the Norsworthy 
family home. There is a romance wrapped up 
in the court paid Miss Modridge by the two 
nephews of her hostess, themselves first cousins. 
Her choice fell on Samuel B. Norsworthy, a 
young man of twenty-one, just through serving 
his apprenticeship as a mechanical engineer. 
It was an unexpected bit of sentiment in one of 
Mrs. Norsworthy's type when, in the last year 
of her life, nearly seventy years old she was, she 
surprised her daughter Naomi by pulling from 
its hiding-place of fifty years a poem addressed 
to her by the rejected lover, which no one else 
had ever seen. 
' Samuel B. Norsworthy came of Devonshire 


stock that had produced in one of its branches 
the great sea-rover, Admiral Drake. In the 
good old English way he had been apprenticed 
to a mechanical engineer to "learn by doing," 
This apprenticeship had just ended at the time 
he became engaged to Miss Modridge, and being 
anxious to establish himself independently, he 
asked his mother for funds for working capital. 
For some reason she did not accede promptly to 
his request, though she had done for an older 
brother as much as he asked. Mr. Norsworthy, 
in a fit of pique at what he considered unjust 
treatment, left home and struck forth into the 
world. Coming to America, he lived for a time 
in New York City, and then enlisted in the 
United States Navy, serving for five years. At 
the close of his enlistment, during which he had 
cruised to the four corners of the world, he left 
the navy and set .up in business in China, where 
he stayed two years, and then returned to New 
York. Naturally, in his years of naval service, 
he had not progressed far towards accumulating 
a competence that would have enabled him to 
marry. At best, he seems on his own testimony 
to have had little of the genius of accumulation 
in him. AH his life he enjoyed spending money, 


a trait hi§ daughter could very easily appreciate, 
because she, too, had it. After he had been 
away from England and hisi affianced eight 
years, he crossed over in 1875, and they were 

h The eight years of his absence had been full of 
change for Miss Modridge. Her father had died, 
and the property had gone to the oldest child, a 
brother, leaving her and her sister dependent on 
their own efforts. The sister soon married, the 
mother went to live with her, and the future 
Mrs. Norsworthy accepted a position as gov- 
erness, being recommended particularly for her 
ability to teach French and music. How long 
she was a governess is not clear, but the news 
that her fiance's mother was very ill brought 
to her one of those duties concerning which 
throughout her life she knew no hesitation. She 
gave up her means of support and went to live 
with her mother-in-law to be. For two years 
she devoted her life to caring for the elderly 
woman. The invalid blessed her with the best 
wish she knew: if the future Mrs. Norsworthy 
should ever have a daughter, that she might be 
to her mother the strength and comfort that Miss 
Modridge had been to her. Mrs. Norsworthy 


delighted to tell this reminiscence; she was sure 
that the wonderful daughter that came later 
to her was the fulfillment of this prayer of her 
mother-in-law's. It is in this association with 
her husband's people that the reason for the 
name "Naomi" is to be found: "Thy people 
shall be my people." 

The older Mrs. Norsworthy must have been 
herself a woman of "much force of character. 
Certainly she had the power of inspiring de- 
voted love and admiration in the young woman 
who willingly ministered to her; more than this, 
her ideals left so deep an impress on Miss Mod- 
ridge that they became part of her life. She had 
been reared a member of the Established Church 
of England, and before going to live with Mrs. 
Norsworthy, had subscribed to its tenets and 
supposedly had been satisfied with them. Mrs. 
Norsworthy was a Dissenter, one of the " Plym- 
outh Brethren." This denomination came into 
existence about the same time as Methodism, 
and is far stronger in numbers and influence in 
England than in this country. It is plainly a 
tribute to the religious faith of the elder Mrs. 
Norsworthy that her life and religion should 
have impressed a person of Miss Modridge's 


decided nature to the point of giving up the 
creed of her fathers. Surely it cannot lightly be 
said that the Church of England has a slight 
hold on its members. There is that well-known 
something in human creatures which once 
habituated to a stately ritual is not satisfied 
without it, a trait particularly strong in the 
English, traditionally reverential as they are to 
the past and its customs. That Miss Modridge 
should put aside the form of worship her fathers 
had known for generations to ally herself with 
another bespeaks some experience commonly 
called "conversion." 

It Is not amiss to glance aside for a moment 
at the doctrine of the Plymouth Brethren, for 
undoubtedly it was an enormous power in Mrs. 
Norsworthy's life, and through her, In Miss 
Nofsworthy's. Briefly then: the Plymouth 
Brethren believe in the literal interpretation of 
the Bible and Its application to daily life. Their 
organization and discipline are characterized by 
extreme simplicity, having evidently much in 
common with the Quaker faith. They await the 
"moving of the spirit" in meeting, believe In 
the leading of the "inner light," In a personal 
God, and therefore in the supreme efficacy of 


personal prayer. They are "pre-mlllennialists," 
which term interpreted by an outsider appears 
to mean a belief in the Second Coming of Christ 
when all true Christians will be translated hither, 
and all non-Christians will be disavowed. The 
Second Coming is at all times imminent, and be- 
ing so, the individual must be ever on guard 
lest he be found unworthily engaged. This doc- 
trine, of course, is in broad terms closely akin to 
the old Puritan ideas that left such ineradicable 
marks on the history of our own New England. 
It is "other-worldliness." Necessarily it pre- 
cludes at once and unheard the temporary pleas- 
ures of the passing moment. 

Edmund Gosse, in his delightful biographi- 
cal volume, "Father and Son," talks interest- 
ingly of this sect, of no little influence in " those 
days of the wide revival of Conscience." He 
says: "They met only with a few extreme Cal- 
vinists like themselves on terms of what may 
almost be called negation, with no priest, no rit- 
ual, no festivals, no ornament of any kind, noth- 
ing but the Lord's Supper and the exposition of 
Holy Scripture drawing these austere spirits into 
any sort of cohesion. They called themselves 
the 'Brethren' simply, a title enlarged by the 


world outside into Plymouth Brethren. . . . 
Pleasure was found nowhere but in the word of 
God, and to the endless discussion of the Scrip- 
tures each hurried when the day was over. . . . 
The peculiarities of a family life founded upon 
such principles are in relation to a little child 
obvious. Here was perfect purity, perfect in- 
trepidity, perfect negation; yet there was also 
narrowness, isolation, an absence of perspective. 
. . . My parents founded every action,,every at- 
titude, upon their interpretation of the Scrip- 
tures, and upon the guidance of Divine Will." 
Of his mother, he says: "A Puritan in grain, 
never a word escaped from her, nor a phrase to 
suggest she had any privations." The char- 
acterization might have been made of Miss 
Norsworthy's mother. In this atmosphere of 
"perfect purity, perfect intrepidity, perfect 
negation," the sensitively endowed nature of 
Naomi Norsworthy grew to its fine fruition. 

Mrs. Norsworthy subscribed to the tenets of 
the Brethren with the loyalty of an intense if 
repressed nature. It was essentially In keeping 
with her simplicity and directness that their 
doctrine should meet with her belief and support. 
During the years she lived in New Jersey where 


those of this faith were few, she kept in close 
touch with the little group with which she had 
at once associated herself when she came to New 
York from England. 

At the time of their marriage, Mr. Norsworthy 
gave to his bride the choice between living in 
Japan, and in New York City. She told in after 
years that her preference fell to New York for 
the sole reason that it was nearer her beloved 
England, and opportunity to go back there 
would be less remote. She would add that 
weighing against it, however, was the fact that 
all the escaped criminals from England pro- 
verbially made New York their place of refuge, 
and she did not at all know what to expect of 
her new home. She was married in 1875, and 
came to New York in August of that year. 

Mrs. Norsworthy must have been comely to 
look upon at this time of life. She had brown 
eyes that could bore deep; auburn hair that 
never wholly lost its tint even at seventy years ; 
a delicate complexion that flushed easily; a 
mouth that showed decided firmness of will. The 
figure was plump, and very erect; she showed 
the training of the mid-Victorian by sitting bolt 
upright in a chair, not leaning back at all, lest 


she seemed to loll. As known to Miss Nors- 
worthy's friends, she was a person of great 
decision of will, pronounced opinions, unusual 
capability, keen judgment, and no little formal- 
ity of manner. One did not lightly presume 
with Mrs. Norsworthy; one felt uneasy about 
the "p's" and "q's," and wondered if one's hat 
was on straight. Yet Mrs. Norsworthy was 
most companionable, if never familiar. She 
quietly prided herself on her strong likes and 
dislikes. She must have been always a great 
reader. She wrote with much ease, and her let- 
ters were delightful, as are those of most English 
people. Apparently there was slight sentiment 
about her; she openly declared a distaste for 
poetry, and had no patience with demonstra- 
tions of personal feeling. Though cherishing 
her English traditions and inheritance, she said 
many times how truly glad she was that her 
children had had the opportunities that Amer- 
ica alone could give them. 

In the family, her word was law. She brooked 
no infractions of obedience, and saw that sum- 
mary punishment fell on any violator of her edict. 
Her way was quiet, positive, and most effective 
with her children. She followed them up closely, 


kept them secluded as few children are, and 
either busy or interested. Miss Norsworthy 
used to tell amusingly that one of the few recol- 
lections of her childhood that remained was 
connected with her violently slamming a door in 
her mother's hearing, in a flash of temper, after 
something had gone wrong; she said that there- 
after when she wished to "let off steam" on in- 
animate objects, she would go to her own room 
and, behind carefully closed doors, open and 
shut dresser-drawers with a bang, having taken 
pains to assure herself that her mother was en- 
tirely out of ear-shot. The punishment meted 
out to the children was ordinarily a bread-and- 
water diet, or staying in the house for a given 
time, never corporal pain. The mother's vigi- 
lance must have been constant. Neighbors* 
children could come to play with hers, but they 
must stay at home. This attitude was the out- 
come partly of ideas of exclusiveness engendered 
by her own English rearing, and partly of her 
religious conviction. Their studies she super- 
vised; it seems that early in their school life she 
desisted in her efforts to help them with their 
lessons, because her methods and those of their 
teachers did not coincide. It was her practice to 


keep in constant touch with their teachers, so 
that she might know what studies the children 
were weak in and needed to stress. No doubt 
every teacher the children had would bear tes- 
timony to Mrs. Norsworthy's solicitude about 
their doing well in school. 

Of Mrs. Norsworthy's will and thrift there is 
abundant proof. When she and her husband 
came to America, their little fund for beginning 
life was put in a savings bank until they should 
be ready to invest it; the bank failed soon after- 
wards, as banks sometimes will, and the little 
nest-egg was gone. Mr. Norsworthy's earnings 
were not large, and they were both too proud 
to call on their English relatives for assistance, 
so there arose the necessity for continued econ- 
omy in which Mrs. Norsworthy must have been 
past master. 

The oldest child died at the age of a few 
weeks. The second child, Naomi, came, and 
then two sons. With the increased demands of 
three children, it was decided that it would 
be best for the family to move to Orange, New 
Jersey, whither they went in 1883, the husband 
commuting to New York for his day's work. 
For two years they lived in Orange, and then 


Mrs. Norsworthy determined to own her home. 
As Rutherford was more accessible to the city 
than Orange, therefore in better commuting 
distance, to Rutherford she went to select a site. 
So far as is known, she had no one to help her 
in choosing this place. Mr. Norsworthy was too 
occupied at his post of business to share with her 
the responsibility. It has been remarked by 
Rutherford friends what excellent acumen she 
showed in the lot she bought. At that time, in 
1885, Rutherford was scarcely more than a "lo- 
cal habitation and a name," and she had no 
guide at all save her own good sense. She walked 
over the little village, considering the advan- 
tages of a number of locations, and finally set- 
tled on a spot on the crest of an elevation, 
across the street from the Episcopal Church. 
Did some haunting association with the church 
of her childhood help her to decide? The place 
is to-day considered, it is said, one of the most 
admired and valuable in Rutherford. The next 
necessity was to get the house built. She bought 
the lot, settled on house-plans, contracted for 
the building, and had ground broken in one 
wefek, so her son tells. Be it remembered the en- 
tire venture was undertaken on faith. She was a 


stranger in the place, with no working capital, 
her only financial backing being her husband's 
earning capacity. Mr. Norsworthy evidently 
belonged to that large number of husbands who 
are willing to earn money and trust to their 
wives for its wise expending. That he was will- 
ing to do so was the best evidence of his belief 
in her business sense. How she managed to pay 
for this home no one knows; like many other 
things she accomplished, she just did it. 
fr Her thrift was backed up by her capableness. 
She did beautiful work with her needle, making 
all her own and the children's clothes. Indeed, 
until the last year or two of her life, she took 
much pride in continuing to make all Miss 
Norsworthy's dresses, as well as her own, except 
their suits and evening gowns. Her skill with 
her needle must have been a great help in the 
days when her children were small. She knitted 
their winter stockings, mufflers, caps, and mit- 
tens; she made elaborate trimmings and did 
much fancy work of all kinds. Miss Norsworthy 
never lost an opportunity to boast of who her 
dressmaker was, and liking pretty clothes as she 
did, she never lacked them in later years. 
■ This busiest of women who^ on a scant in- 


come, made a home and clothes for three chil- 
dren, persistently supervising their work and 
play, did not fail to answer every neighborly 
call. It was before trained nurses were readily 
to be had, and such capable women as she were 
needed in homes of distress. One friend bears 
testimony to Mrs. Norsworthy's helpfulness by 
saying, " She did things for people utter stran- 
gers to her that I would never do for my dearest 
friend." Where need was, there she was. It is 
said ' that sometimes she would actually incur 
the risk of bodily hurt when she would try to 
alleviate conditions in the homes of workmen 
where drink had the upper hand. This minister- 
ing to the needy was of course the religion that 
she lived. 

Mrs. Norsworthy kept open house in the good 
old hospitable English way. There are instances 
of whole families being gathered under her roof 
for weeks at a time; sometimes it might be friends 
or neighbors who were moving, and were tempo- 
rarily out of a honie; again it might be stranded 
ministers, or English people who drifted across 
her path. No call of charity or chance for hospi- 
tality went unheeded. It should not be forgot- 
ten that these demands she met on a small in- 


come that stretched little with the multiplied 
needs. The admirable part is that no one ever 
heard her complain, or worry over financial 
affairs, either then or later. She was so excel- 
lent a manager that her friends used to wonder 
among themselves if she did not have help from 
private and unknown sources. Her faith was 
great enough to believe that a way would be 
opened up, and the way always was opened. 

Eight years were passed in the Rutherford 
home. The place, made beautiful with many 
flowers and fruit-trees, was excellently kept- 
Then the time came for Naomi to go to normal 
school, so she was to be away from home; the 
two boys would soon need broader opportuni- 
ties than the little town of commuters afforded, 
therefore it seemed best to the mother to rent 
the home in Rutherford and return to New 
York. Naomi went to Trenton Normal, and 
the boys were put into the city schpols. 

The stimulation of the children appears to 
have continued unflagging. Mrs. Norsworthy 
resolved that they should have the best in edu- 
cation, and bent her efforts steadily towards 
that end. The father was anxious that the eld- 
est son should serve an apprenticeship now that 


the boy was old enough, after the continental 
fashion. The mother said no, that each child 
should have an education first, in keeping with 
the American idea. A constant watch was kept 
for chances that might offer them opportunities. 
She saw the advertisement of a competitive 
examination for entrance to Webb's Academy, 
an opportunity which meant training in marine 
engineering. For that scholarship the eldest 
son must try; to Webb's Academy he went. The 
second son was next to be provided for. The 
Pulitzer scholarshipi, valued at $1750, offered 
seven years of secondary and college work. The 
newspapers carried notices of the competitive 
examination, which Mrs. Norsworthy hit upon. 
Here was the opening for the other boy. It 
meant for him the completion of courses at Hor- 
ace Mann High School, and Columbia. He won 
It. In 1897, the family moved back to Ruther- 
ford for two years. In 1899, whenlthe daughter 
was in Teachers College, and the younger son 
in Horace Mann, Mrs. Norsworthy thought it 
too much of a tax for them to continue commut- 
ing, 80 the Rutherford home was sold and the 
final move to New York made. It is gratifying 
to think how Mrs. Norswi'orthy's deisiree and 


plans for the education of her children were 
successfully achieved. She saw all of them grad- 
uated from Columbia University, the youngest 
with a bachelor's degree in Mining Engineering, 
the second with a master's in Civil Engineering, 
and the oldest with a doctorate in Education. 
Not many mothers have so great cause for pride 
in motherhood as she had, or so well deserve it. 
Mrs. Norsworthy was a methodical person 
with painstaking ways of doing things. She 
would not tolerate a maid, and all but the last 
few years of her married life she did the work of 
her own household, with the help of a laundress 
only. Any sort of disorder or carelessness was 
painful to her. Her energy for setting things 
straight was inexhaustible. A hand-illumined 
motto that hung on the walls of her bedroom 
too well expresses some of her ideals to omit it: 

The Beauty of the House 
is Order; 

. TJiff. Blessing of the Hcmsib 
is Cgnteatcaent; 

The Glory of the House, 
is Hospitality; 

The Crown of the House 

is Godliness. 


Her fortitude and will stood forth the last 
two years of her life. Approaching the allotted 
threescore years and ten, she was apparently 
very vigorous, destined to live years longer. She 
entered happily into all Miss Norsworthy's in- 
terests; she went on outings; twice, unaccom- 
panied, she crossed the continent to see the 
mining-engineer son, and was full of vivacity 
and endurance. She would reject not too pa- 
tiently any gratuitous attempts at assistance, 
in coming up and down stairs for instance, let- 
ting it be known that she cared to exercise none 
of the usual prerogatives of age. Then came 
all unexpectedly the fell disease that pronounced 
her doom. Protesting against it, despite her 
suffering, she consented to call a physician only 
on Miss Norsworthy's insistence, to keep her 
peace of mind. Life was a matter of months, 
the doctor said; the trouble was carcinoma; the 
case was quite hopeless. An appeal was made to 
a great surgeon; without reservation or soften- 
ing, he confirmed the previous diagnosis. After 
he had left, Mrs. Norsworthy turned quietly 
to the friend in the room and said without hesi- 
tation or voice-tremor, "I am afraid this will 
worry my little girl." 


Miss Norsworthy made a hard fight for her 
mother's life. She could not believe there was 
no hope. Science, human intelligence, conquers 
so many ills, why not this one? The most emi- 
nent authorities were consulted; they gave no 
encouragement. Radium had been successfully 
used in some of these cases; it could be tried. 
The book, then being written, everything else 
but her mother, was forgotten. For the next 
two years she was the center of interest and 
anxiety. All efforts at relief proved useless. The 
cost of the next two years was heavy on Miss 
Norsworthy. The mother's bravery was won- 
derful. In the suffering of these two years, in 
which a major operation was tried, no complaint 
came from her. She closed her lips and made 
no moan. The end came September 23, 191 5. 

There is no difficulty in seeing the kinship 
between mother and daughter. Both had in- 
domitable will, notable pluck, great endurance; 
the lives of both were characterized by loyalty 
to duty, independence of character, and inflex- 
ible rectitude. The Spartan note, the austerity 
of the mother, the daughter did not have; the 
deep sympathy and personal charm of the 
daughter the mother did not have. Tempera- 


mentally they were not alike; but the capacity 
for sacrifice, the desire for service, the devotion 
to religious ideals, they shared in common. 

"Mother and I are such good chums," Miss 
Norsworthy would say. She made it a rule to 
share intimately with her mother all her con- 
cerns and interests, for the sake of counsel as 
well as comradeship. Till the close of her own 
life she bore in mind her mother's wishes; long 
after most people would have abandoned the 
maternal ideas as guides for immaturity only, 
she had her pleasure in deferring to them. Many 
people found cause for wondering comment in 
Miss Norsworthy's seeming lack of interest in 
the opera and theater, a fact which rendered 
her almost a curiosity in this day and genera- 
tion, but that in her eyes was fully justified 
because of her mother's attitude towards these 
diversions. She felt she could never render to 
her mother any part of all she owed her, and 
deference to her least wish was but slight trib- 
ute. No one who realized in part the closeness 
of the bond between the two could fail to under- 
stand the grievous longing for her mother that 
lingered with Miss Norsworthy the brief space 
of time that stretched between the death of 
her mother and her own. 

Ill . 


Naomi Norsworthy, the child of parents 
English by birth and American hy preference, 
was born in New York City on September 29, 
1877. The mother had at that time been in this 
country for two years, but the death of her 
first-born at the age of a few weeks had borne 
heavily on her, and she had not tried to make 
friends. Coincident with the advent of the 
oldest child had come to her an association 
whose persistence for over forty years bears 
testimony to the possible loyalty of human 
hearts. At one of the meetings of the few rep- 
resentatives of the Plymouth Brethren in New 
York City, Mrs. Norsworthy had met an Eng- 
lish woman of sterling worth, also a newcomer, 
who was casting about for a means of livelihood 
in her new home. Mrs. Norsworthy, with ever- 
ready and capable helpfulness, undertook to as- 
sist her fellow countrywonian to self-support, 
meantime characteristically offering her a home. 
Becoming a member of the family in its daily 


life for fifteen years while following her profes- 
sion as a trained nurse, this friend played no 
• small part in its annals. She was known to the 
children as "Nina.'* What material help she 
gave them is not recorded, but possessing many 
fine traits in common with the mother whose 
conservative judgments she reinforced, she was 
a valuable member of the little group. Her 
friendship is mentioned not only in simple jus- 
tice, but also because she was one of the few 
persons who came in close contact with the child 
Naomi. Miss Norsworthy's devotion to her 
was unwavering, a loyalty the more worthy of 
comment because few of us but find it easy to 
allow the associations of early years to be washed 
away in "the swirl of spray and all that roar." 
The two sons came. Necessity arose for the 
exercise of all the financial skill and personal 
efforts that the mother could command. Mrs. 
Norsworthy's serious acceptance of the prob- 
lems of motherhood, strengthened by her reli- 
gious bias, could but leave its deep impress on 
the three children. The boys were respectively 
two and four years younger than Naomi, who 
was taught that, being the oldest, she was to 
be the exemplar. It was an attitude so blended 


with her life that she never cared to forget it 
through the years. This fact was itself an aid 
to the native contemplativeness of her disposi- 
tion. Then, too, the mother's grief for the first- 
born naturally made her spend upon this next 
child the outpourings meant for two; from the 
first, she must have set Naomi "on the level 
of her soul." That such comradeship served to 
make the child serious beyond her years is per- 
haps to be regretted, but in this time was be- 
gun the intimacy of mother and daughter that 
persisted to the end, a source of strength and 
happiness for them both. 

From mere infancy, Naomi was taught to 
believe what she should do, that she could do. 
It was an up-bringing with the true Spartan 
note in it. Certain tasks about the home were 
set aside for her, and she was held to strict 
accountability for them. After the school years 
came, their number was lessened, and they 
were largely confined to Saturdays, but never 
remitted. Mrs. Norsworthy considered these 
home duties an invaluable part of a girl's edu- 
cation. The daughter became an expert needle- 
woman, as well as an excellent housekeeper. 
It must not have occurred to the mother that 


she demanded of the child abilities different 
from those expected of other children about 
her. She had been reared in the school of 
womanly accomplishments from her first years, 
why should not her daughter be? Her systema- 
tic, by-the-clock methods of work she impressed 
on Naomi in a way never forgotten. The house- 
hold training of the childhood years remained, 
as well. One of the brothers says that in his 
judgment the most remarkable thing about 
his sister was her domesticity. With all her 
intellectual interests, and the many demands 
of her position, she managed to look after the 
details of the housekeeping, when her mother 
gave it up during the last few years of her life, 
taking pleasure and pride in it. 

The children were taught the Bible by strict 
drill at home. On a favored occasion, one of 
them was allowed to visit Sunday School with 
a friend, and showed such excellent knowledge 
of the Bible that the teacher asked, interest- 
edly, "Where do you go to Sunday School.'" 
and got the reply, "To my mother." A funny 
little tale is told as the outcome of Naomi's 
effort later to apply the careful and literal teach- 
ings of the Scriptures she had received. When 


she entered school, a would-be play-fellow 
made advances J to her, and was met by the 
query, "Do you love God?" Naturally taken 
aback by so direct a question as to her subjec- 
tive state of mind, the little girl stammered con- 
fusedly, "I don't know." Straight came the 
rejoinder from the small Puritan, "Then I can't 
play with you." She was trying to live the 
admonition of the text, "Have no fellowship 
with unbelievers." The primary-grader faith- 
fully reported this incident to her mother on 
arriving at home, and Mrs. Norsworthy, some- 
what troubled thereby, confided to a friend 
that she was not at all certain that her!; own 
literal interpretation of the Bible was working 
out wisely with her children. The friend who 
tells this story says the immediate result of it 
was to stimulate the mother to cultivate in the 
children wider association with more "unbe- 

Another happening of childhood often told 
by friends of these early years had to do with 
Naomi's faith in prayer, at the age of six. It 
was immediately after the family had moved 
to Orange. A heavy blizzard in the night caused 
Mrs. Norsworthy uneasiness as to the arrival 


of the usual household supplies, so at breakfast 
she told the children they could have only ce- 
real, as she feared the baker could not make 
his rounds. Later in the morning, Mrs. Nors- 
worthy heard Naomi talking to herself, and 
never having observed such a habit in the child, 
curiosity prompted her to listen. Naomi was 
pouring forth a petition that God would please 
send bread before night, with the due perfect- 
ness of a child's fervid faith. In the course of 
the waning afternoon, the man living across the 
street ploughed his difficult way through snow- 
drifts to the Norsworthy door, with two loaves 
of bread for his new neighbors, fearing, he said, 
that they might not have enough for emergency 
needs. Mrs. Norsworthy said that the child 
looked at her triumphantly and exclaimed, "I 
knew God would send us some bread," to the 
amazement of the self-appointed messenger and 
the relief of the mother, who had feared disap- 
pointment for the child. The simple directness 
of this faith Miss Norsworthy never outgrew. 

Mrs. Norsworthy used to tell the little inci- 
dent that first impressed her with Naomi's 
swiftness of physical response. The children 
had a dog, which was their inseparable com- 


panion, a diminutive fox terrier, the cause of a 
minor tragedy for Naomi later. One of the 
small brothers, under the eager eye of the dog, 
dropped a bag of peanuts, and though the 
doggie was nearer him than Naomi was, and 
made his hungry pounce with all the quickness 
of his breed, the little girl was quicker, and 
rescued the imperiled treasure from the eager 
paws. The movement on her part was so in- 
stantaneous that the mother said it was borne 
in on her for the first time that her daughter 
was more alert than the ordinary child. This 
same dog was repeatedly the occasion of Na- 
omi's exhibiting her characteristic pluck. He 
must have been a fussy small dog, unduly given 
to picking quarrels. Mrs. Norsworthy had finally 
to forbid Naomi's interceding further in his 
behalf. She would tackle anything that men- 
aced the animal, regardless of danger to herself. 
That there was slight difference in the ages 
of the children was fortunate for the feminine 
member of the trio. There is nothing but the 
childhood memories of the brothers on which 
to establish these early years, but it seems that 
the boys set the pace and the girl followed. She 
was not alone "little mother'! to them, but 


good fellow as well. Her own interests naturally 
took on the complexion of theirs, something 
for which she often declared herself grateful. 
Dolls she had given her, — does any girl escape 
them? — but she said they possessed no attrac- 
tion. Compared to the vigorous tastes and pur- 
suits of her brothers, she thought she found 
dolls too colorless. There is a satisfaction all 
its own in jotting down the fact that as a 
child Miss Norsworthy was considered a "tom- 
boy." She was taught to box with her brothers; 
she went on fishing jaunts with them; on tramps 
searching Indian arrowheads; on long wood- 
rambles; she climbed trees, wrestled, and seem- 
ingly held her own pretty well as a "good 
sport" with her brothers and their friends. The 
hoydenish characteristic was so decided, indeed, 
that her father's pet name for her was "Boy." 
His invariable employment of the name in 
speaking to her during her last illness caused 
him to be asked for an explanation, and his 
answer was, "I have called her that always; she 
was such a tom-boy as a child." The one re- 
maining nickname she ever possessed in the fam- 
ily was another that brings a smile, "Sleepy." 
This cognomen was the fun-poking one given 


her by her brothers, when, a little later In her 
teens, the time came for day-dreams ; at first it 
was "Trancy," because they said her musings 
buried her so deep she seemed "in a trance," 
and then it grew to be "Sleepy." The very 
incongruity of the two names, "Boy" and 
"Sleepy," with all that one associates with her 
maturer years, makes them worth recording. 
The use of them persisted in the family till the 

Mrs. Norsworthy's determination to arouse 
the children's desire to learn, and her efforts to 
turn them into inquiring directions, have been 
told. A method she employed for years was to 
read to them every afternoon. Without varia^ 
tion they were required to come in at 5.30 and sit 
about the dining-room table while the mother 
read to them for an hour or more. Her choice of 
books leaned towards travel and history. The 
father's commuting from the city made necessary 
a late dinner, for which the children were not 
allowed to wait. When formal schooling began, 
this routine was somewhat modified; there was 
less reading aloud and more supervised study. 
To the training of these years, particularly to the 
type of books read, the mother always thought 


could be attributed the success of the second 
son in winning the Pulitzer scholarship. Cer- 
tainly the mother's intelligent supervision and 
insistent demand for concentration on their 
studies left its mark on all three children. In 
the light of the needs of the after-development 
of Naomi, it would seem that Mrs. Norsworthy's 
ideas of secluding them was an error. However 
well-hidden was Miss Norsworthy's timidity in 
her grown-up years, all who knew her real- 
ized what it made her suffer, and this natural 
timidity had been intensified, necessarily, by 
the seclusion of her childhood. It is easy to 
pardon this mistake on the mother's part on 
the score of zeal of interest and ambition; nor 
is the fervor of her religious conviction ever to 
be forgotten. She wished to meet without eva- 
sion the responsibilities of motherhood in see- 
ing that her children were successfully guarded 
from untoward influences or unworthy occu- 
pations. However their seclusion may have 
from one viewpoint cut them off from unre- 
strained association with other children, and 
therefore from social activities considered nor- 
mal, there can be no doubt that the atmosphere 
thus created furnished an excellent one for the 


burgeoning of individuality. There is that in 
the daily round of life of the little brood which 
inevitably reminds one of the Bronte family. 
In that case, the inflexible and controlling fac- 
tor was the father instead of the mother; but 
in the exclusion, the adult direction, the inven- 
tive need of self-entertainment and effort, the 
repression, and yet the highly individual charac- 
terization of the two groups, there is much in 

'■ With the beginning of school came new and 
broader influences. The brooding ambition of 
the mother was shown in the intense interest 
she took in the daily progress of each child at 
school. It has been told how she conferred often 
with their teachers, discovered the weaknesses 
of the children and where to direct their efforts 
and hers. It is said no lapse or deficiency on 
the part of any one of them failed to call forth, 
her deep concern and redoubled efforts. All 
three children were lamentably poor spellers; 
they were put to work on spelling with the 
energy and persistence characteristic of the 
mother, with the result that two of the three be- 
came creditable spellers. Music lessons began for 
Naomi at the same time with formal schooling. 


Her mother gave her lessons, and later she had 
another teacher. One of the first objects at- 
tained in after years, when she began to teach, 
and had money for her own spending, was the 
purchase of a piano, which for a time she greatly 
enjoyed. This fact bears further testimony to 
the range of her tastes and abilities, and for 
that reason is worth a reference. Her musical 
talents were swallowed up later by other in- 
terests, but music remained with poetry, a hid- 
den and major love. 

Miss Norsworthy often remarked that the 
most distinct memory of her childhood was that 
everything in it turned on her resolve to be a 
teacher; that she could not recall a time when 
it was not the strongest desire in her, and that 
her one dread was that she would never know 
enough to reach her aim! Always self-distrust- 
ful, her lack of confidence no doubt served 
to multiply her efforts. The teachers of! these 
first school years say she "worked for what she 
got." The query naturally comes whether this 
was true because of anxiety lest she should not 
be able "to learn enough to be a teacher," or 
because of extreme conscientiousness and thor- 
oughness. It is not easy to think of her, even 


as a child, as a mental plodder. Thus, however, 
the testimony of the teacher of the early years 
runs. Her mother's excessive desire for her pre- 
eminence probably acted as an extra spur; there 
can be no doubt that in these years of "work- 
ing for what she got" was laid the foundation 
of habits of concentration that stood her in 
such good stead in later times. 

Mrs. Norsworthy's hope in choosing New 
York as a place of residence that she might find 
more opportunities to visit her beloved England 
was not to be disappointed. Her accomplish- 
ment of this end is another cause for wonder 
that ranges with her success in buying her home. 
Several trips across she made with the children, 
and England was a garden of happy memories 
for them all. It was her custom to pay them, 
between these visits, regular wages for certain 
of the household chores, thus nominally en- 
couraging them to pay for their passage in that 
way. The chief anticipative glee of the two 
brothers in these ocean-jaunts was in talking 
about how seasick Naomi was going to be, and 
she never disappointed their expectations. 

During the early childhood years there was 
no hint of physical weakness. It is said that 


fifteen years passed without the presence of a 
physician in the house. One day when wrestling 
with one of the brothers, Naomi had a hard fall 
and complained afterward of her hip; it was 
then that the doctor discovered unevenness In 
the limbs. Heroic treatment was advised; a 
heavy weight was to be attached to the knee 
and suspended on a pulley from the foot of the 
bed at night. How long this treatment was kept 
up is not known, but for months. Her ankles 
had always been weak, but not painful, neces- 
sitating the wearing of braces ; this defect had 
barred her from skating, a deprivation she 
never ceased to bewail. The handicap of weak 
ankles, though, Is the only one she seems to have 
felt until the hip trouble was discovered. The 
very strength of her nervous energy may have 
driven her on over a constitutional frailty that 
would have hampered many a child. It is true 
that from infancy she was not a good sleeper; 
here again the nervous physlcality, but the tend- 
ency to insomnia wore off in later years, possi- 
bly routed by sheer physical exhaustion. 

The early years spent in the little towns of 
Orange and Rutherford without doubt left 
their indelible markings on Miss Norsworthy's 


impressionable nature. It was an uneventful 
childhood, quite commonplace in many ways, 
yet in it may be found the seeds of the later 
fruition of character and temperament dis- 
tinctively hers. A sense of responsibility, ideals 
of thoroughness and order^ singleness of pur- 
pose, and the formation of intellectual habits 
had all been inculcated by the mother. The 
healthy give-and-take of two brothers had 
happily offset any over-delicate tendency of a 
nature so sensitive. The free life of a country 
town had brought to her certain view-points 
that were invaluable. Familiarity with field 
and wood and their citizens remained there- 
after among her most treasured knowledge. 
She had a surprising acquaintance with wild 
things. Birds and trees and native flowers had 
their haunting memories. The stars, too, were 
among the persisting loves of childhood; study 
of the constellations had been one of the many 
interests of her mother's "round-table" read- 
ings, and with the seasons' cycles, in the 
crowded city, she would watch for their suc- 
cessive returns. She often spoke of the time 
she "lived in a house" in contrast to the years 
in a New York apartment, and always she 


accounted herself, lucky to have known the 
freedom of the open. In her were elemental 
things in harmony with nature, and these years 
of childhood were indeed blessed in having 
placed her where they could be nurtured. The 
resurgent life of every springtime called insis- 
tently to her, and the Easter holidays never 
failed to find her answering; the jeweled panoply 
of autumn caused in her delight only a lover 
can know. The odor of pines, or any other 
breath of forest or field would bring the light to 
her eyes and excited exclamations to her lips. 
The sea was a passion; of it she never tired. 
These innate joys had their roots in the life of 
the early years; without them would have been 
subtracted much from the residual interests that 
remained with her as abiding joys. , 



Some one has said about Mrs. Norsworthy's 
well-thought-out plans for her children's school 
years, "It is the sort of thing every mother 
might be expected to do for her children, but 
that every mother does n't." The discussions 
and the firmly established habits of concentra- 
tion and study stood the children well in hand 
when they began to attend school. They had 
been taught to read; their drill in reading and 
memorizing texts from the Bible even in the 
early years had been thorough. The mother 
had required undivided attention to her read- 
ing aloud and had had them reproduce in their 
own words what she read. Their talks on books 
read together had stimulated their interests 
and imagination so that they were more cap- 
able of long sustained attention than most 
young children. Steady insistence on the need 
for self-reliance and independence, imposed in 
terms of home duties as well as in words, had 
developed them. Their first teachers speak of 


their quiet obedience, ready responses, quick 
intelligence, and their "infinite capacity for 
taking pains." 

Naomi began school after the family moved 
to Rutherford at the age of eight. She must 
have been a quaint little person. There is a 
picture of the family group taken at this time 
which is interesting. Both mother and children 
are decidedly English in dress, necessarily so, 
since Mrs. Norsworthy made her own and the 
children's clothes; and she was still far too loyal 
to the traditions of her up-bringing to discard 
English styles. Mrs. Norsworthy is shown sit- 
ting in her characteristic erect fashion, straight- 
browed, firm-lipped; Naomi stands beside her, a 
demure little girl, with wide-open, wondering 
eyes, hair brushed straight back from a beauti- 
ful brow, and hands that even then showed 
the nervous restlessness always associated with 
them. f 

The teachers of Naomi's first years in school 
speak of her as being different from most chil- 
dren in her sense of responsibility, her old- 
fashioned ways, and her odd little dresses. They 
say she was dependable and ambitious beyond 
her years. A noticeable trait was her desire to 


protect anything or anybody weaker than she 
was, about whom she might throw a shielding 
arm. They comment, too, on her surprising 
knowledge of the Bible, not realizing what faith- 
ful training she had had in the daily reciting at 
home of Scripture texts. % > 

These years in elementary school are the ones 
during which it is said she "worked for what 
she got." There can be no doubt that thus 
early her ambition was afire. She felt even at 
this tender age the responsibility of doing well 
in school that she might some day become a 
teacher, just as she also felt the responsibility 
of being the oldest child. Truly not for naught 
had she from babyhood been let Into the con- 
fidence of her mother. The happenings of 
every day, no matter how small, she brought 
home and shared with this mother to whom 
nothing that had concerned or interested the 
little child was ever trivial. This companion- 
ship in itself was an added spur to her ambi- 
tion. She wished to achieve the triumphs of 
her little world that she might make her mother 
happy in sharing them with her. It has been 
remarked, possibly with cause, that Mrs. Nors- 
worthy did not realize the steady pressure she 


put on this keenly strung child of whom she 
was so justly proud at all times. The daughter 
never realized it, either then or later; she tried 
only to meet it. 

Through the primary and grammar school 
days she was this child of panting ambition, 
of great gentleness, and of lively imagination, 
a little creature eager for all knowledge, never 
weary of working for the coveted goal, nor 
easily turned aside from it. It is the type of 
child that will, of course, always stand well in 
school, regardless of the teachers that come 
and go. The school reports of these years show 
Naomi's marks highest in mathematics and 
history, and lowest in spelling and penmanship. 

One of her elementary teachers tells an in- 
teresting anecdote concerning her at the age 
of ten. Naomi handed in a composition that 
her teacher commended as being an unusually 
good one, but she remonstrated about the great 
number of misspelled words it contained. The 
words were duly underscored, and Naomi was 
told to re-write the composition with the words 
correctly spelled. On seeing the defaced com- 
position, and learning that she was to write it 
over merely because of incorrect spelling, she 


flared up in a bit of a temper: "I thought this 
was a composition, not a spelling lesson. What 
difference does it make how the words are 

The Rutherford school at this time had no 
high school, and Naomi completed its work in 
1893, at the age of fifteen, standing first in her 
class. ,A few weeks before the time for the close 
of the school year, the family moved back to 
New York, leaving her in Rutherford with a 
friend of her mother's, who speaks apprecia- 
tively of how companionable she found this girl 
of fifteen. Her repose of manner and range of 
interests are said to have been unusual for her 
age, both of which traits she owed to her mother 
rather than to her training in school. As a 
matter of fact, she often spoke laughingly of 
the "gaps" in her education. The lack of those 
studies usually pursued in high school necessa- 
rily placed her subsequently at a disadvantage. 
She had no work in Latin, little in history 
and modern languages, and indeed, inadequate 
preparation in mathematics and science for 
her succeeding needs. This fact subjected her 
to a sense of inequality in normal school, and 
later in college, but it called into play the 


splendid concentration of which she was so 
capable. It served to restrict her activities 
and friendships during her normal school years 
far beyond what they should have been. Her 
rearing in the strict terms of her mother's 
evangelical faith would of itself have cut her 
off from much of the girlish frivolity to be ex- 
pected during this period, but she need not 
have been so bound to the grind of her studies 
as she was by this inadequate preparation. It 
was the one regret she was ever known to voice 
over her school days, that she had been com- 
pelled to devote herself so assiduously to her 
studies as to lessen her human companion- 

The fall of 1893, before her sixteenth birth- 
day, she entered the New Jersey State Normal 
at Trenton. The students were older than she 
was, and with very few exceptions, better 
prepared. Her intellectual pride was aroused 
as never before. These are the student days to 
whose effort and concentration her roommate 
of the time pays such ready tribute. She was 
entering normal at an age when she should have 
been in high school. Accustomed always to 
leading the front ranks in school, she felt the 


handicap of being in classes with young women 
her superiors in years and training, and it stung 
her that they seemed able to accomplish their 
tasks much more easily and successfully than she 
could. She was far from the physical strength 
that should have been hers to call upon for 
heavy mental effort. It was the year before that 
the painful fall had brought to light the dis- 
crepancy in the hips. She was still under the 
doctor's orders to weight down the limb with 
the attachment suspended at night from the 
knee. The process would doubtless be pain- 
ful enough for any one, and for a person of 
her nervous sensibility, a poor sleeper at best, 
it must have been the keenest torture. The 
pain was so great that she could not sleep, 
and though her roommate exhausted her argu- 
ments trying to persuade her to discard the 
appliance, the child would not allow herself 
to do so until her lessons began to suffer seri- 
ously; even then, she waited to write home for 
her mother's permission to discontinue the use 
of it. Another annoyance was her throat, which 
troubled her constantly. There were several 
attacks of quinsy, and finally the tonsils were 
removed. The constant application to her 


studies ieft little time for recreation, and there 
is testimony of moments of utter physical ex- 
haustion during the years at Trenton. 

Her scholastic record, however, shows no 
evidence of this physical weakness. One of her 
teachers of this period says of her: "It took 
some time to individualize her, for she was very 
quiet in her manner and shy about voluntary 
work at first. After a while, I found that the 
little dark-eyed student was always prepared; 
no matter who else had come with surface 
preparation, or had 'forgotten,' her work was 
always thorough, and her memory was to be 
depended upon. Her attention was unflagging. 
Later I discovered that she bad a perfect pas- 
sion for clearness; question after question per- 
sistently followed, until she could say with a 
wonderful brightening of the whole face, ' That 
is quite clear now.' I was presenting psychology 
from the genetic standpoint, and frequently had 
the feeling that I was meeting in her mind a 
body of views which conflicted with my own. 
I realized how much was — for her — too firmly 
settled to admit of question. At that time she 
had no idea of specializing in psychology." 
V Another of her normal school teachers says: 


"Miss Norsworthy was very frail when at Tren- 
ton, and most ambitious. She had no difficulty 
in acquiring high marks, for her work all came 
very easily. She made no intimate friends, 
though the girls all respected her, and called 
upon her readily for help. Her religion pre- 
vented her entering into their gayeties or join- 
ing their societies, and too, she needed to seek 
rest and quiet often, for young as she was, she 
was often sadly exhausted. She always dressed 
simply, and her clothes were often quaint, mak- 
ing her all the more charming in appearance. 
Her mother made them and, in her eyes, that 
was enough; no one else could make clothes 
to suit her. Her memory was wonderful. On 
class-day, she had more than a hundred memen- 
toes to give to different members of her class, 
and she insisted on doing it without notes. She 
did not forget a line." 

Yet another of her instructors of these Tren- 
ton days says: "Hers was a rarely intellectual 
and modest personality. Though unusually reti- 
cent in expressing her opinion, we soon discov- 
ered that this slight girl was to be our greatest 
aid in working out a problem. I said to my- 
self, 'Naomi Norsworthy has a mind like run- 


ning water, the clearest I have met in this work,' 
and this opinion was never changed. She was 
so young, barely sixteen, and her youth, with 
her clear sweet voice and diffidence of manner 
gave her more charm. She was even then a 
mature thinker." And another: "It became a 
common saying among her instructors, 'If you 
want the summary of a lesson that will be worth 
preserving, call upon Naomi Norsworthy.' Not 
only in those respects by which we commonly 
characterize the student was she unusual, but 
the modesty and simplicity of the girl were 
never lost in the maturity of thought and ex- 
pression of the woman. Her great success as a 
teacher was the logical outcome of what she 
was as a student." 

One of the Trenton classmates remembers 
through the intervening years the impression 
made on hfer by Miss Norsworthy's quick men- 
tality in connection with^ this incident: the 
physics professor had not covered the work 
he had hoped to accomplish, therefore the last 
lesson before examination he announced that 
he would go rapidly over the omitted principle 
in the hope that some in the class might com- 
prehend it; most of them were utterly at sea 


after this flying presentation, but Naomi Nors- 
worthy had the principle entirely clear. 

Illustrative of that persistence with which 
she invariably followed any end once under- 
taken is a memory told of these school days. 
Coming home to Rutherford for a week-end, 
Miss Norsworthy's expectation of returning to 
Trenton in time for her duties the following 
Monday was upset by a terrific snowstorm. 
All traffic had to be suspended. She would 
not listen to the protestations of the faijiily on 
her attempting to return to Trenton, but don- 
ning coat and hat, she seated herself by the 
window so that she might hail any driver ad- 
venturous enough to fare forth, no matter if 
his vehicle might be delivery wagon or humble 
cart. She sat there all day long, unrewarded. 
But for her mother's positive forbidding, she 
would have set out to walk to the station. Her 
brothers long delighted in teasingly reminding 
her of this lengthy wait as abiding proof of her 
inborn stubbornness. 

These three years at Trenton could have had 
in them for Miss Norsworthy' little of the ex- 
periences that are usually known and should be 
known to a girl's later teens. From full en- 


trance into the pleasures and interests of her 
school friends she was barred by her religious 
convictions. We see the devotion to the ideal 
of service, however, that so glorified her whole 
life. She came for the first time into close con- 
tact with people outside the shelter of the 
home and the circle of friends chosen by her 
mother; for the first time she was called upon 
to stand by her principles without the support 
of her mother's daily encouragement. In her 
teachers she found warm and abiding friends; 
though the years were overcrowded with efforts 
to make up deficiencies in her previous train- 
ing, and the full days were hampered by ill 
health, yet she looked back upon her Trenton 
associations with keen pleasure. 

Normal training was intended only as a step- 
ping stone to an immediate teaching position, 
so that, by becoming self-supporting as soon as 
possible, Miss Norsworthy might work for a 
purpose long in view, — better preparation for 
her professional career through training at 
Teachers ODllege. Just as she could not re- 
member when she did not intend to become a 
teacher, she said, neither could she remember 
when she first determined to go to Teachers 


College. On graduating from Trenton Normal 
in 1896, not yet nineteen, she was the first mem- 
ber of her class to receive a teaching appoint- 
ment. The post was in, the public schools of 
Morristown, New Jersey, as teacher of a third- 
grade class. The three succeeding years in 
Morristown she always thought of as part of 
her professional training. Here, too, was felt 
the charm and strength of her, despite her 
youth. Practically her entire free time was 
devoted to filling in the "gaps" in her educa- 
tion so that she might enter Teachers College. 

In the fall of 1899, Miss Norsworthy ma- 
triculated in Teachers College. It was her in- 
tention when she entered to specialize in chem- 
istry, a branch of science which had always 
particularly attracted her. The discerning judg- 
ment of the head of the psychology department 
at once singled her out as a young woman 
of unusual mentality, and it was under his en- 
couragement that all ideas of being a teacher 
of chemistry vanished. The first paper she 
wrote for his class favorably attracted his at- 
tention. On returning it, he read her name from 
the back, "Naomi Norsworthy," in accents 
that she always afterwards insisted were the 


most sepulchral she had ever heard, and asked 
the writer to remain for a moment after class; 
from that day her subject for specialization be- 
came psychology. She never failed to testify 
to her gratitude for the inspiration given her 
by this man of science, and for his direction 
of her interest to the field of psychology. Of 
her early days at Teachers College he says: 
"She was a member of my first classes, and 
though quiet at that time, impressed me early 
as a girl of excellent judgment and strong hu- 
man devotion. She was made a student assistant 
the following year. Dr. Norsworthy as a stu- 
dent was quieter than later. Though always 
interested and wide awake, she was not spe- 
cially prominent in class discussions or the like. 
She had a deep interest in psychology as a stu- 
dent as well as a teacher, and resisted later the 
efforts of those who tried to direct her into exec- 
utive and administrative work. She was also 
then as always extremely conscientious. In very 
many ways she was like her mother. It was 
from her that the children had their intellec?- 
tual abilities and general sagacity, I think." 

On being made student-assistant in the 
department of psychology in 1900, the year 


following her entrance into Teachers College, 
Miss Norsworthy began the long term of serv- 
ice, catalogued and uncatalogued, that lasted 
sixteen full years. She made it her concern to 
seek out students with difficulties and bend all 
her efforts to helping them strengthen them- 
selves. Here began the practice of giving all 
her open time to others, little though it was, 
even then. She was determined to spare her 
mother so far as she could, and began to look 
after the household affairs more than she had 
done. Before going to Teachers College each 
morning, she prepared her own and her moth- 
er's breakfast, served her mother's to her in 
bed, and set the apartment in order. In the 
afternoon she hurried home to help with the 
preparation of dinner. The household duties as- 
sumed at this time she never gave over, and, 
not sharing her mother's distaste for servants, 
in later years she was wise enough to keep a 

Miss Norsworthy received the degree of 
Bachelor of Science from Teachers College in 
1901, and at once she began to work for her 
doctorate, having received an appointment as 
assistant in psychology. Her small physical 


strength annoyed her persistently. Teaching, 
coaching weak students, studying, working dili- 
gently on a thesis, and keeping house are duties 
large enough for the best of us, however physi- 
cally fit. There were operations that came in 
these years, but she seems to have been too 
busy to pay much heed to them. Her thesis, 
"The Psychology of Mentally Deficient Chil- 
dren," entailed a vast amount of work, as all 
familiar with it know. It necessitated her visit- 
ing several institutions for mentally defective 
children for months at a time, and keeping 
some of the inmates under constant observa- 
tion. In 1904 she received the degree of Doctor 
of Philosophy, and her formal student years were 


No other phase of Miss Norsworthy's life 
presents the difficulty in delineation that her 
work as a teacher does. Her power here all but 
defies analysis. One cannot tell how she did 
it, but only what she did. Teaching was with 
her a very unusual gift; she possessed an apti- 
tude for getting hold of people's minds and 
firing their interests with her exhaustless mag- 
netism so that the hours in her classes were 
looked forward to with pleasurable anticipation, 
often with delight. Her teaching had in it 
a large social element that robbed a recitation 
or lecture of every vestige of humdrumness. 
Details that in hands less skillful than hers 
would be surrounded by dust from the rattling 
of dry bones took on color and light from the 
lambent fire of her personality. Her common- 
sense illustrations, clear exposition, with now and 
then a flash of humor, together with her ques- 
tions and comments so stimulated the student's 
mind that it worked better than at other 


times. For her, "being a teacher" was not a 
business; it was a joy. 

Her official connection with Teachers Col- 
lege began in 1901, when she was made assist- 
ant in psychology; 1902-04, she served as tutor; 
1904 to 1909, as instructor; in 1909, she was 
made associate professor. 

It will scarcely be wrong to say that her 
aim as a teacher rested broadly on two general 
principles; first, the desire to know her sub- 
ject masterfully, and second, the determination 
through sympathetic insight to arouse the in- 
dividual members of her classes each to make 
his contribution to the discussions in order that 
the points covered might be broader and better 
suited to serve the definite needs of the many. 
She seldom gave lectjares, and the few that she 
did give could hardly be called formal. " I must 
know what is in the minds of my students, and 
the general trend of their needs and interests 
before I can get anywhfere," she used to say. 
The way in which she conducted her classes was 
peculiarly her own. One young woman who pre- 
viously had been a student of Miss Norsworthy's 
determined to catch the trick of her teaching, 
and haunted her classroom for a whole term, 


taking down notes and observing diligently; at 
the end of the time she gave up, convinced, she 
said, that the laws of genius in teaching work 
as indirectly and without visible means as in 
other lines of endeavor. The one definite con- 
clusion she reached seemed to be that Miss 
Noirsworthy never antagonized; her character- 
istic phrase, "Would you be willing to grant 
that — ," being firmly implanted in the ob- 
server's consciousness as a leading principle of 
her procedure. 

It was her habit to begin the work of the hour 
with a rapid, clear-cut summary of that of the 
preceding time, such a summary as few teachers 
can give, which threw into high relief all the 
valuable points previously made. There fol- 
lowed a few illuminating suggestions concern- 
ing the day's subject, and discussion began. 
It is useless to attempt to tell the how of the 
consummately skillful way in which she guided 
it so that "the timid were emboldened to take 
part, the hazy thinkers were led to clear ex- 
pression, the belligerent were rendered willing 
to compromise, and the stubborn were allowed 
to convince themselves of the opposite view," 
as has been excellently said. Her power as a 


teacher was part of the gift of her personality. 
As the musician knows his instrument, she 
knew her classes, and played upon them. Her 
abounding sympathy and incisive intellect gave 
her quick access to the minds of her students, 
and they responded. "The only times in my 
life that I ever felt that I was mentally gifted 
were the moments that I spent in Dr. Nors- 
worthy's class," said one of her students. "I 
never understood how it happened, but some- 
how it seemed that what she knew was flashed 
into my mind and before I knew it, I would be 
talking fluently, eloquently it sounded to my 
own ears, about some subject that I had hitherto 
had only the mistiest conception of." This ex- 
pression voices what was widely felt by her 
students, that in the class discussions they 
seemed impenetrated by somewhat of Miss 
Norsworthy's own knowledge and brilliance. 
Among the greatest of her gifts was this ability 
to make one feel himself to be a bigger person 
than he had hitherto thought. 

Few of her students can easily forget the fer- 
tility of her illustrations, and the quick flashes 
of her intellect. Her illustrations were drawn 
from far-flung fields, everyday life, science, lit- 


erature, art, and so clearly phrased that any- 
one could easily follow the application. Some- 
times their very commonplaceness made them 
interesting, because unexpected. Her delivery 
was rapid; with all the quick readiness of her 
physical self, utterance lagged far behind the 
mental processes. For this reason, the taking 
of notes was not easy, and too, the atmosphere 
in her classes was often so surcharged with live- 
liness of interest that transcription of notes 
lapsed of its own accord. Professional stenog- 
raphers, even, had difficulty following her ra- 
pid speech. She had been told of it, and tried 
to be careful about it, but her on-rushing ideas 
would sweep away the would-be inhibition. 
This quickness of mental activity showed itself 
also in her lavish use of varied and original 
abbreviations. She was fond of all sorts of 
graphic representations, and liberally sprinkled 
them with unexpected abbreviations. In making 
these graphs, her restless, sensitive hands flew 
swiftly and accurately across the board until 
it was easy to abandon one's self to watching 
them instead of following her line of thought. 
Her more intimate letters were full of abbre- 
viated words that most people would not think 


of shortening, because her thoughts so crowded 
upon one another. 

Principles upon which Miss Norsworthjr 
placed much emphasis in her teaching are: the 
immense value of habit formation in education 
and in lif6; the fact that man is a social unit, 
neither "free" nor "equal," but according to 
his gifts responsible as a contributory factor 
to the good of his group; and that conduct is 
character, since "Deeds determine character 
as much as character deterrriines deeds." It is 
easy to see that here entered her own ideas of 
human values. She believed thoroughly in the 
dictum that "The price of a disciplined intel- 
lect and will is eternal vigilance in the forma- 
tion of habits," and she lost no opportunity 
to present that proposition with its proofs. It 
may be said parenthetically that training in 
psycholojgy had but confirmed what experience 
had taught her under the disciplining eye of 
a wise mother. She stressed greatly the neces- 
sity for accepting the terms "character" and 
"habit" as wholly synonymous, and that he 
alone is moral who chooses deliberately and 
pursues relentlessly those habits of action which 
make for the good of his group. 


Her former students will long recall the ex- 
traordinary clarity and inexhaustible variety 
with which she presented the facts of educa- 
tional psychology, never forgetting the human 
side of life. One of them says: "Certain of her 
words that I found in my notebook I committed 
to memory because they sound so much like 
her. Whenever I repeat them, the eloquent 
earnestness with which she said them to us 
comes to me: 'First of all, and above all, man 
is a social unit, depending on others, and sus- 
taining others. His moral test is conduct and 
motive. What we do alone counts, not what 
we aspire to do; to consider the motive is essen- 
tial only as it flowers into conduct. In connec- 
tion with final habits, no one can hope to get 
out of the transition period, for once our theory 
of conduct is formulated and put into action, 
we are ready for the next higher step. Broad- 
ening vision, fresh Inspiration, keep alive the 
chance for growth, always dynamic in itself. 
The world grows, life grows, the bdividual 
must needs grow, -r— through conscious choice, 
through reason, through will, through ideals.' " 

Miss Norsworthy's classes at Teachers Col- 
lege were always large. She speaks in one of 


her letters of meeting each week four hundred 
and eighty different students. This fact greatly 
increased the volume of work in the matters 
of correcting papers and giving individual help. 
She would never delegate to an assistant the 
valuing of examinations or periodical papers, 
because she felt that by reading them herself 
she could more justly gauge the work of her 
students. The zest of her interest in them seemed 
never to stale, for behind the paper she always 
saw its writer, and felt his interest to be hers. 

Of the several stories about Miss Norsworthy 
extant at Teachers College, one goes back to 
the early days of her apprenticeship as an in- 
structor. The head of the psychology depart- 
ment was to be absent, and she was unexpect- 
edly called on to take his classes. It would have 
been a trying experience for any young teacher, 
for many of the students at Teachers College 
are by no means novices, nor are they inartic- 
ulate. For Miss Norsworthy, it was a doubly try- 
ing time both because of her inexperience as com- 
pared to theirs, and because of her shyness and 
self-depreciation, intensified by the high valua- 
tion that she knew was universally put upon 
the absent professbr. As she appeared before 


the class, no doubt inwardly hoping that some 
phenomenon might even yet happily relieve her 
of the necessity of trying to teach it, a seriously- 
taking-himself person on the front row with 
the ready resentment for the unknown, remarked 
to his neighbor, "Where is the professor to-day? 
and who is this in his place ? I, for one, did not 
come to Teachers College to be taught by a 
chit of a girl." Miss Norsworthy heard the re- 
mark, and human creature that she was, it 
thoroughly fired her. It is easy to fancy how 
her eyes must have blazed wrath, and her cheeks 
flamed. The shrinking and dread with which 
she had faced the class fell from her. She was 
no longer a "chit of a girl," but a roused fighter. 
That recitation went with vim and snap. Ques- 
tioned about this incident. Miss Norsworthy 
laughed with the glee of a child, and answered, 
"Of course I remember that. It was one of the 
triumphs of my teaching, because at the close 
of the hour, that man came up and told me how 
he had enjoyed the session. I never felt more 
giddy with victory in my life." 

An incident of more recent years is told. A 
certain man had been advised by former stu- 
dents, as was often done, to be sure to register 


for courses with Dr. Norsworthy. Impressed 
with the unanimity of the counsel he received 
on the subject, he elected Dr. Norsworthy's 
course, and felt that he had done his full duty 
by himself and his interested friends. His cha- 
grin was keen when the professor presented her- 
self, "a slip of a woman." On further thought, 
before the next class day, he decided that some- 
how he had been cheated, and that redress was 
due him for something from some quarter or 
other. Such situations are the causes for a dean's 
being; to the dean he would go. His complaint 
was listened to patiently and fully, — that he 
had been misled into registering for a course 
with Dr. Norsworthy under the assumption 
that the Doctor was a man, and she was not 
at all. The dean finally told him that he was 
still laboring under some sort of false impres- 
sion, — "You will find her one of the strongest 
men on our faculty. Go to her classes a few 
times and see if you do not think her so." This 
story, a true one, is rounded out by the man's 
returning to the dean in the course of time to 
assure him that his opinion concerning Dr. Nors- 
worthy as one of the "strong men"' of the fac- 
ulty was entirely true. 


A woman long associated with Miss Nors- 
worthy on the faculty of Teachers College 
aptly puts many of the things for which she 
stood in the daily life of the institution : " Some- 
times all the qualities of mind and heart that 
we most prize will be combined in one person, 
— brilliant scholarship, magnetism, patience, 
sympathy. So we knew her. Because of her 
ever-ready human helpfulness, too much was put 
upon her for her spirit's willing offer. Busy as 
we both were, at the beginning of each year 
she gave me an hour of her full time to help my 
students gather up the threads of their pre- 
vious work in psychology on which my course 
could be built. The time was one of joy, as I 
sat in her class and listened to the rare skill 
with which she touched the high points of the 
work of the preceding year. To me, too, she 
gave constantly new views of my own field, as 
with quick speech and brilliant eyes she gave 
us of her best. Before the days of the Woman's 
Faculty Club, a small group of women faculty 
members would gather in the various homes to 
discuss our many problems. Dr. Norsworthy 
was always ready to help, and with keen in- 
sight and quiet words calm our often excited 


discussions. Who else was ever to the students 
what she was! As I go from one part of the 
country to the other, I realize more fully than 
ever before that to many, Teachers College 
was Naomi Norsworthy. Students have always 
asked of her first when they have come for col- 
lege news. The memory of her as I last saw her 
lingers. She was standing before a great audi- 
ence of six thousand teachers, at a Superin- 
tendents' Meeting. I can hear her spirit speak- 
ing through her words, and afterwards see the 
old students crowd about her for the valued 
word of greeting." 

A tribute that she would like, says: "Clarity 
and simplicity characterized her presentation 
of her subject, and straight, direct thinking 
was called out by her manner of conducting 
discussions. No concealing of imperfect under- 
standing and half-knowledge under cover of 
high-sounding phrases was possible. Creating 
an atmosphere of sincere seeking for truth in 
her classroom, she stimulated her students to 
genuine inquiry. Every one who came into 
the circle of Miss Norsworthy's acquaintance 
spoke of her strong personality. Her breadth 
and generosity of mind, her vivid outlook on 


life, her kindly and unaffected interest in the 
problems and ambitions of other lives, and her 
staunch integrity in dealing with all questions 
either intellectual or moral were striking traits. 
Her charm of personality was never made use 
of in her teaching to secure the personal alle- 
giance of her students. She seemed wholly un- 
conscious of possessing any particular qualities 
which might give her an enthusiastic personal 
following. Her popularity rested on no facti- 
tious or superficial basis; it grew steadily from 
year to year because she was recognized as a 
great leader and a great soul." 

Another professor who knew her well, says: 
"Her flexibility in understanding and utiliz- 
ing any worth-while contribution from any of 
the students effectually created in them the 
attitude of responsibility for participating in 
the work of the hour. Then, as one student 
put it, * She was so anxious that the one called 
on should do well; her whole facial expression 
seemed as though she would literally pull the 
answer out; then, when it did come and was 
good, she was so happy.' Well we remember 
that absorbed, anxious frown and the forward 
inclination of the head, followed by the quick 


nod of approval and the delighted snap of her 
big, brown eyes. But woe betide the lazy stu- 
dent who prepared only textbook replies, or 
the one who talked in vague generalities. The 
first was soon heard bewilderedly inquiring 
'What is she driving at?' While the second 
was brought to share Miss Norsworthy's dis- 
appointment when, in looking for specific de- 
tails, she found none. j 
" It was a joy, in the early years of her teach- 
ing, to watch for the awakening of her classes 
to the fact that they had an instructor of no 
mediocre ability. Year after year, the neutral^ 
guarded attitude of the September opening days 
became the surprised eagerness of October, and 
developed before Thanksgiving into the en- 
thusiastic cooperation so characteristic of her 
classroom. In the more recent years no such 
awakening was necessary, for the students came 
prepared for their special opportunity. As the 
alumni scattered to all parts of the country 
they carried her reputation with them; so that 
we soon grew accustomed to hear, on registra- 
tion days, inquiries for the courses Miss Nors- 
worthy gave, as though that was the main 
object of the students' search. Often was re- 


counted the tale of students from far distant 
States who had chosen Teachers College rather 
than some other institution because they had 
been told, *Oh, go by all means to Teachers 
College — you must, Miss Norsworthy is there.' 
Indeed, when the rapidly increasing numbers 
of students necessitated simultaneous sections 
of one course, it was no easy task to console 
those who did not have the good fortune to be 
in her division." 

Of her other interests, this : 

"The weekly informal reception at her home 
during several years were centers of such fun 
and good companionship; then the simple pic- 
nic joys with the annually changing members 
of the Y.W.C.A. cabinet; the numerous lunch- 
eons and dinners also at which her quick wit 
made her so welcome as toast-mistress. With 
eager, whole-hearted simplicity she shared in all 
the conviviality around her, appreciative alike 
of the merriment of others and of the joke upon 
herself. - « 

"Said a little protegee of hers: 'I'm afraid 
to talk to some people, but I can say anything 
to Miss Norsworthy and she'll always listen.' 

"Said a mature student: 'In the blackest six 


weeks of my life I just don't know what I should 
have done if I had not had Miss Norsworthy 
to turn to. I could easily have gone insane, only 
her strong hand gave me such a pull up.' 

"One of the College st)ngs voices its feeling 
of Miss Norsworthy's influence when it speaks 
of her love and tact as reforming a student." 

One other such expression, likewise from an 
associate of years, must be quoted: 

"Who that has known Naomi Norsworthy 
does not deeply appreciate the qualities which 
made her so loved, indeed almost reverenced, 
among her colleagues? Hers was the modesty 
that 'seeketh not its own'; the simplicity that 
scorns pretense; the clear vision that sees the 
path to the ideal and follows it with single eye; 
the trained intellect that can 'spin the gossa- 
mers as well as forge the anchors of the mind.' 
Who ever went to Miss Norsworthy in per- 
plexity or in trouble and went away unhelped? 
Who ever relied on her to undertake a delicate 
and complicated piece of work and met with 
disappointment? She had a rarely penetrating 
insight into the heart of a problem and the 
heart of an individual. Seeing as she almost 
infallibly did the crux of a difficulty, and using 


the wonderful tact and the instinctive under- 
standing of her fellow beings that were her 
rich and peculiar gifts, she unraveled many a 
tangled web in college administration and in 
personal life. 

"What tribute can express the unstinted 
giving of herself to students and to colleagues 
that made her life a continuous blessing! Not 
the mere willingness to give, undirected by in- 
telligent understanding that characterizes the 
efforts of many well-meaning individuals, but 
the willingness to expend time and energy and 
thought in comprehending a difficult situation 
was what she evinced before offering the sound 
advice or active help that could always be 
counted on. 

! "In the classroom, how quickly Miss Nors- 
worthy stimulated the interest and thought of 
every student. No contribiition to class dis- 
cussion, however lame and halting it might be, 
if offered in good faith, failed to receive sym- 
pathetic treatment from her, and be made to 
contribute its bit towards working out the com- 
mon problem. No one who has been privileged 
to sit at the feet of this gifted teacher but has 
felt the quick play of her sympathy as well as 


the stimulating quality of her thinking, and the 
broad understanding of her chosen subject. 

"Spirits like this one too rarely move among 
us, therefore the loss of this strong soul has 
created a gap that cannot be filled. We who 
are left behind can only strive with quickened 
spiritual sense to envisage the ideals she be- 
lieved in and worked for, and to bring them to 
pass with what success we may." 

"Oh, Dr. Norsworthy, won't you please 
speak to me?" impulsively exclaimed a girl 
whom she was passing in a hall in Barnard Col- 
lege. Miss Norsworthy was puzzled for a sec- 
ond — should she know this girl ? Seeing her 
perplexity, the girl hastily added: "You don't 
know me, I am just a Barnard girl, but every- 
body knows who you are and how wonderful 
you are. I just had to speak to you. I want to 
feel that I too know you." A friend with Miss 
Norsworthy told this little happening later, 
and the woman to whom she told it said: "What 
a human magnet she is! There is something 
almost uncanny about the way she draws peo- 
ple to her. It is her human-ness, I think. Her 
cup of sympathy is always running over and 
never full." 


' Teaching was but part of Miss Norsworthy's 
contribution to the life of Teachers College. 
She was Adviser of Women, and executive in 
many posts. It may be that she valued most the 
opportunity given by these positions to come 
into close touch with people, that opportunity 
of all in life the most precious to her. To resist 
the charm of her interest was impossible; it 
was too subtle, too stimulating. This individual 
interest has been shown to have been a heavy 
tax on her time and strength. "You cannot 
afford to hurry people where deep concerns are 
at stake. Reserves are delicate and sacred; they 
cannot stand hasty treatment," she said. The 
hours that she speijt in teaching and in prepara- 
tion were few compared to those spent in this 
kind of service. Her flashing insight irresistibly 
drew people to her; her sympathy held them. 
"If you are stone, be lode-stone; if you are 
plant, be sensitive; if you are man, be love," 
Hugo advises. Not many people combine the 
qualitites of lode-stone, of sensitive plant, and 
of love, as she did. Her capacity for feeling 
was so great, her susceptibility so keen, that 
she could divine much of what one would say 
without the medium of words. As teacher and 


as woman she drew to herself human problems 
and human confidences; few ever left her with- 
out new light beaming into their little world. 
She could always "see blue sky," and show it 
to others. 

Miss Norsworthy spent much time and 
thought in fostering the religious life at Teach- 
ers College. For several years she was chair- 
man of the Advisory Board of the Young 
Women's Christian Association, and she was 
also a member of the National Board of that 
organization. Appointed on a committee of 
the National Board to consider the basis for 
Y.W.C.A. membership, as to whether it should 
remain on the evangelical basis or change its 
terms of admission, she worked persistently for 
a more democratic type of organization. Meas- 
ures put through by this committee have been 
felt as broadening and revivifying influences 
wherever the work of that admirable organi- 
zation is known. In the immediate group to 
which she belonged at Teachers College, she 
likewise helped to make democracy in religion 
more nearly possible by furthering the scheme 
for the federation of the different religious or- 
ganizations; hitherto they had worked in igno- 


ranee and more or less in unconcern as to the 
purposes and ideals of one another; by joining 
their forces, she felt that much more could be 
accomplished, in striving for common ideals es- 
sentially the same, however widely they might 
differ in lesser details. This federation, known 
as the Joint Advisory Bpard of Religious Work 
in Teachers College, chose Miss Norsworthy 
for its first chairman, and under her tactful 
guidance, the movement was carried to success. 
Jew, Catholic, and Protestant alike, said, "She 

In the religious work of Columbia University 
also she had a place, serving on the two central 
committees representing the various divisions 
of the University: the "Hill Committee," the 
coordinating factor of the several religious or- 
ganizations, and the Graduate Religious Forum, 
an organization which "provides an opportunity 
for all graduate students to discuss with each 
other some of the fundamental issues of life." 
These several religious associations had of her 
time and thought as they chose to demand. 

Natural queries may arise as to Miss Nors- 
worthy's attitude towards questions about 
which justly centers the immediate concern of 


to-day, about education, and woman suffrage. 
It is not inapt to speak of what she thought 
of the interesting topic of "vocational educa- 
tion." Her position here was a consistent one, 
based on practicality and idealism. All work, 
however mechanical or seemingly blighted by 
drudgery, should become a means for personal 
growth, should be made to contribute to the 
worker's mentality and character. Efficiency 
in any direction comes through training, either 
got at great loss from the actual work itself 
by "the trial and success" method, or got 
without waste, and more quickly through train- 
ing, education. If ninety per cent of the chil- 
dren from the elementary schools go into the 
industrial and commercial life of the commun- 
ity, then why not give them definite training 
for their needs? This training should be put 
wheresoever in the grades it is necessary in or- 
der for it to serve its purpose; if in the fourtb 
or fifth, good. Two aims to be kept before the 
educator are: first, the need for the child to be- 
come a social contributor to his environment, 
an aim that includes at once ability to make a 
good living; and second, the need for him to 
judge values properly, an aim that includes 


power to use his leisure correctly. Added to 
these aims is the fact that one learns hy doing, 
physically, and therefore that the school should 
concern itself in securing adequate, concrete 
experiences, in order to give flexibility, power, 
freedom. Are there many answers to the dis- 
cussion of vocational education in the face of 
the needs of the ninety per cent who go into 
vocational life? To the practical person there 
is but one answer. The training should include, 
besides the work itself, proper correlation with 
socializing studies. Means should be found to 
break down artificial valuations now attaching 
to industrial activity. The young should be 
taught the value and the excellence of everyday 
labor, be it hand-labor or head-labor. The in- 
troduction into our schools of training in the 
vocations would help towards the highly desir- 
able end of training citizens to believe that "all 
true work is sacred; in all true work, were it but 
true hand-labor, there is something of divine- 


Her attitude towards woman suffrage was 
less clearly defined. Her belief in the necessity 
for keeping life flexible, open and ready, cut 
her off from dependence on "causes," as well 


as from faith in "associations" and formulas 
of all kinds. One is inevitably reminded of 
Emerson in this attitude towards the burning 
question of his day, slavery: "God must govern 
His own world, and knows His way out of this 
pit without my desertion of my post, which has 
none to guard it but me." Of course, Miss Nors- 
worthy made no such statement of her position; 
indeed, she did not state it vigorously at all. 
If she was pressed, she let it be understood 
that her immediate anxiety was to help women 
towards a better sense of values, to quiet their 
restlessness by holding aloft ideals of poise and 
sanity, to try to help them believe that the 
truest law is "ever innermost to outward," 
Many there will be to scoff at these as the 
important matters. But this sort of person is 
rare enough to stand forth in a generation as 
the preserver of an example that the world can 
ill afford to lose; such an one strengthens our 
faith in the power of mankind to lay fast hold 
on whatsoever is 

"Allied to that spirit-world, 
Outside the limits of our space and time, 
Whereto we are bound." 

Miss Norsworthy's devotion to ideals of de- 


mocracy in every phase of student life was in- 
tense. She believed not at all in the labels and 
factitious exdusiveness that tend to set apgrt 
a small group, often self-elected. To her, they 
represented useless and artificial barriers to a 
full realization of one's highest possibilities as 
a "social unit," because the banding together 
of the few destroys the bonds of oneness with 
the many, and makes far more difficult the 
encompassing of larger ends that should be 
common interests. She could be found in the 
forefront of any fight where democracy was in- 

During the last few years there came to Miss 
Norsworthy many calls for public addresses. 
For any one who had known her only in the 
narrow circle of the classroom it was surpris- 
ing to see her power over large audiences. The 
thrilling influence of her personality seemed con- 
tagious ; there were times when this response so 
reacted upon her that she rose to expressions 
of impassioned fervor. Her timidity never failed 
to rack her both before and after these occa- 
sions> however, making her feel sure that the 
final sentence of abject failure had at last been 
pronounced upon her. All occasions for public 


speaking were times of anxiety for her. Never 
sure of herself as a speaker, her constitutional 
shyness found her easy prey; it was one weak- 
ness which she found hard to exorcise with her 
will. In her classes she was reasonably certain 
of a sympathetic response, for she was too sen- 
sible to be otherwise when year after year they 
had cheered her by enthusiastic approval; but 
of a miscellaneous strange audience she was 
never quite sure that she could correctly enough 
gauge the temper to translate for them what 
she wished to say. This conscious dread found 
no echo in the minds of those who listened to 
her, for her perfect outward poise gave no in- 
timation of it. It was always there though, 
and the reaction afterward was akin to the feel- 
ings of a liberated galley slave. This nervous 
experience was an inevitable accompaniment 
of the dinners of the Teachers College Alumnae 
at which she presided as toast-mistress. An in- 
teresting, if irrelevant, by-the-way in connec- 
tion with these dinners is that Miss Norsworthy 
for days preceding them made it a point to 
watch for old students, on the streets, in hotel 
lobbies, at conferences and general meetings, in 
order to see that they knew the date and place 


of the dinner, and she prided herself on know- 
ing the face of every student who had ever reg- 
istered at Teachers College, in her day, though 
she might never have known the name. 

No other member of the faculty at Teachers 
College could more easily fill the chapel. When 
she was to be the speaker, a large attendance 
was assured. One talk made there that called 
forth appreciation had in it much of her life- 
creed ; a skeleton outline of it was found among 
her papers. The suggestion for it is found in 
2 Corinthians iii, 2, "Ye are our epistle . . . 
known and read of all men." How she would 
treat a subject like this one Is not difficult to 
guess, even if her notes were not available. 
Epistles in the Pauline conception are not let- 
ters, but men; not upon waxen tablets, but 
upon the lives of men did the Great Exemplar 
choose to grave his precepts. Character is the 
highest medium possible in which to work out 
a conception of ideal beauty; it is the one ever- 
lasting medium, for from life to life is communi- 
cated the heart-throb that alone means reality. 
"A human life is forever God's voice to utter 
His divinest truth." That life is the noblest 
which will bring from the Divine to the human 


the message fullest of truth, to live by and die 
by, a fact exemplified by the "beacon-lights 
of time" throughout the ages — the greatest of 
which is the Christ. Our best in inspiration and 
courage each day comes from those about us 
whose lives are epistles, bearing the impress of 
God's message to man through man, delivered 
by the words on their lips, the work of their 
hands, the dreams in their hearts, an epistle 
"known and read of all men," full of hope and 
strength. The worth of what you believe is to 
be found only in what you are, and daily live. 
To be an epistle of God means to live the true 
and loathe the false. In our lives may be read 
the noble message of God's truth and His love. 

To those who heard this talk, there may seem 
a half-profanation in thus attempting to bring 
it to memory by this inadequate sketch, so 
wholly lacking the spirit of fervor which she 
threw into these religious talks. But it is the 
one record of them that can be found, and that 
fact makes it worth recording. 

A characteristic often made use of in the 
swift-revolving wheels of demand at Teachers 
College was Miss Norswbrthy's tact. Her sen- 
sitivity to human relations and values, together 


with her good sense and exquisite gentleness, 
made her valuable in the complexities which 
must necessarily arise when many people are 
working together with issues so large and va- 
ried as those of Teachers College. Her fighting 
ability was not ignored, and added to her tact, 
made her a desirable ally in any cause. "She 
was a good sport," one man says; "you could 
always count on her 'playing the game,' fight- 
ing to the very end, and never a whine if she 
chanced to lose." How his words would have 
pleased her! To "play the game" was what she 
would always have chosen. "She was so sen- 
sible and just," says another man, "always 
ready and willing to see the other fellow's side." 
Of all the many tributes poured out from hearts 
that have mourned for her, none says more 
than this: "It speaks well fOr human nature 
that all who ever knew her, knew her for what 
she really was." 

There was no detail in the daily life of Teach- 
ers College too trivial for her to take note of 
and spend herself upon, should there be need. 
Her sustained keenness of intuition made her 
fasten upon the least incident as possibly sig- 
nificant to some one's happiness. She possessed 


the Herodotean quality of considering nothing 
remote or slight that most indirectly concerned 
life and its relations. This faculty of discern- 
ing hidden meanings was the consequence of her 
imaginative power that so insistently worked 
along the line of human interests. How she 
learned of many of these minor, even humble, 
problems is a question. One example of this 
kind is recalled when she spent much effort in 
straightening out dissatisfaction that had arisen 
over the manner in which the Thanksgiving 
goodies were distributed in the baskets given 
to the maids at Teachers College. This was the 
kind of thing, multiplied over and over, that no 
remonstrance could bring her to see was too lit- 
tle significant for the expenditure of her frail 

She would stand a certain amount of lectur- 
ing, and then out would come, "Humph! what 
does anybody know of how significant these 
things are till it is worked out? If it did n't 
matter to anybody, there would n't be any fric- 
tion about it. I can't be happy if I feel that I 
might help to make anybody else more nearly 
so, and am not doing it. What does being tired 
amount to? I'd rather feel tired than mean." 


So It was that her ceaseless vigil In her place 
In Teachers College went on year after year. 
It would seem that she tried to follow every 
flash of the huge shuttle as It darted back and 
forth In the roaring loom of that life, crowded 
so full of the complex social and educational 
and moral forces of this stirring age. For the 
sixteen years she was a member of the faculty 
of Teachers College there was never a moment 
when she did not consider that fact the greatest 
cause for pride in her outward life. Her devo- 
tion to the broad ideals for which she felt that 
the institution stood was profound. She spoke 
of the college with much the same air of per- 
sonal pride with which she referred to her 
mother. It Is possible that It was the one bond 
of her human associations with which she did 
not consciously break, for when far too weak 
for the strain she would insist on seeing friends 
who brought her news from Teachers College. 

Lord, grant her still some work for heart and brain — 
A glad, rich day of usefulness again! 
Eager, yet all unhurried; poised to meet 
What Fate holds forth of triumph or defeat. 

O God Most Wise, Who deftly takes away 

The tools and playthings of our little day. 

Take Youth, and Fame, — and dreams surpassing fair — 

But not the work we love! 


Somehow, somewhere. 
The master-mind moves toward the goal it sought; 
Spare her that splendid quest, that crystal thought. 
That vision sure, which was our whole delight 
Till dusk enwrapped her, and the long, long night. 

The scene — where shifted? where, at Thy behest 
That hoard of priceless lore made manifest? 
What service for the busy hand and heart. 
So lavish of the wealth they could impart? 
Surely Thy blessed vineyard cannot spare 
Such craftsman, but must hold her dear and rarel 

Some day, in Thy good time, shall we once more 

About her press, and marvel as before? 

Shall we of lesser mold behold her still 

On Thy high tasks intent, dauntless of will. 

And in her work the old-time, matchless skill? 

(Adapted by permission from the poem "Josiah Royce," by 
Laura Simmons.) 



For thoughts of gloom or suffering to be 
associated with a nature so full of light and life 
as Miss Norsworthy's is the last thing to be 
desired. Fearful as she was of the shadows of 
brooding and the sorrowful questionings that 
can come from dwelling upon the mysteries of 
life and its crowning mystery of death, she 
wanted to stay far removed from thoughts that 
could cower or drag down. With this knowl- 
edge in mind, it is especially difficult to speak 
of her closing years, for in the recounting of 
them must linger an echo of the eternal "why." 
She went "unterrified into the gulf of death," 
but we who stand upon these shores of time 
must needs grieve for her suffering, for the 
small help that lay in our too-human hands. 
But one justification can be found for threading 
back the record of this painful time: the marvel 
of her stood forth as never before, for as she had 
faced life, she faced death with that great spirit — 

"A portion of the Eternal which must glow 
-»^ Through time and change, unquenchably the same." 


In one of her letters she says, "'He giveth 
his beloved sleep,' — sleep here, the awaken- 
ing there." Solace must come in the thought 
that she has "outsoared the shadows of our 
night," and is free to compass all she here de- 
sired, as we who have not awakened from "the 
dream of life" turn sadly to the task of finding 
fresh courage in the example of fearlessness and 
love that she gave us. Because the ideals she 
had striven for spoke so bravely through these 
closing years, the record must be told. 
I A question that has leaped naturally to many 
lips since her life was cut off when its halfway 
station was scarcely passed, is, "Why should 
she have died so young.?" and a possible half- 
answer may have been found in the multiple 
demands of her overcrowded life. On further 
thought, such an answer would seem not only 
unjust to her, but also untrue. It is undeniable 
that she was a woman pressed down by far 
too many taxes, for she was teacher, house- 
keeper, executive in a dozen posts, professional 
consultant, and spiritual adviser for hundreds. 

Just how many and how varied were the 
calls upon her cannot accurately be said, for 
she never admitted them; to have done so 


would have been to consider herself, and she 
elected to do all those things, found happiness 
in doing them. Many of her duties were official, 
coming to her from her position as Adviser of 
Women, as Chairman of the Welfare Commit- 
tee, as President of the Women's Faculty Club, 
as member of the Y.W.C.A. Board, and maybe 
first of all, as the teacher of enormous classes, 
all of which places she filled at the same time. 
These posts had gravitated to her as the out- 
come of her qualities of leadership, and all laid 
on her exacting demands. In the absence of 
her departmental head, the direction of the de- 
partment of psychology fell on her, in part, 
together with the responsibility of his gradu- 
ate classes. Besides the enumerated sources of 
drain, all beyond what most people know, was 
the insistent need to follow her own desire for 
service through personal contact with people. 
When not in her classroom, she ordinarily spent 
her time in individual conferences with stu- 
dents, who gladly and quickly availed them- 
selves of her splendid help. There were also 
the outside calls upon her. She gave lectures 
on Child Study at the School for Ethical Cul- 
ture; she met mothers' clubs of various strata 


in New York City; she journeyed hither and 
thither to talk to widely scattered groups about 
Teachers College; she invariably attended the 
meetings of the Association of Superintendents 
of the National Education Association, and 
presided at the dinners of the Teachers College 
Alumnae; she responded to an increasing num- 
ber of calls for talks at State Teachers' Asso- 
ciations. Her time for months ahead was 
mapped out. Besides these official demands, 
she administered her own household, looking 
after the "creature comfort" of five people. 
She appeared at the social affairs of Teachers 
College and Columbia; for others beyond that 
circle, there was no time. This tension never 
relaxed. She was determined to meet all these 
demands, and meet them she did in a way im- 
possible to a smaller nature. But that the grind 
of them played a part in her early death is not 
possible, though necessarily it wore terribly 
on her powers of physical resistance. The wish 
that she might have had some untrammeled 
moments may spring up in the minds of others; 
it never troubled her. 

Could she have been spared this over-taxing.' 
It is a difficult question. Her consent could 


never have been won to be cut off from free in- 
tercourse with people; that was the highest ex- 
pression of her life aim, and in it she found her 
greatest pleasure.' It is no doubt true that if 
all her daily round of duties had been known, 
she could have been spared the detail of much 
routine work in her several official positions, 
little though she would have liked for that to 
be done. She found so much satisfaction in 
spending herself recklessly that trouble would 
have arisen had the suggestion been made to 
take away a part of all she found to do. At 
once woujd have come the fear that she had 
not been measuring up. The over-drafting as a 
whole was known to no one; a few people knew 
in part, and she resented any interference from 
them when the wisdom of a slowing-down was 
hinted at. In her over-zeal, whose influence 
could have availed to make pause for her? The 
authorities at Teachers College were to a cer- 
tain extent aware of how lavishly she was ex- 
pending herself, and essayed a few times to 
remonstrate with her. Few things so greatly 
alarmed her, for she feared there must be a flaw 
somewhere, or nobody would think she was 
undertaking too much. There were times when 


the strong will failed, and she would be forced 
into the quiescence of a momentary illness; then 
her mother would mount guard and cut off all 
approach, but these occasions were of short 
duration. Evidently the mother understood her 
too well, knew the passion for work too well, 
sympathized with it too well, to attempt to 
keep her long away from her beloved "people." 
When she was quite out of breath, she might 
be prevailed upon to see the necessity of halt- 
ing long enough to get it back, but no more than 
that. The short vacations of the school year and 
summers were the only breathing speljs. Others 
she never claimed, not even week-ends, as is 
the custom of many teachers. She considered 
her work of far more importance than all else; 
she was happy in it, why should it worry any 
one that sometimes she was tired? 

That she was careless of herself physically, 
from one viewpoint, must not be concluded. 
Her appetite was always fickle, yet she tried 
earnestly to wheedle it into a semblance of real- 
ity; within bounds, she succeeded in making 
herself eat fairly well. She tried to be careful 
of sleep, retiring early. Much of her college 
work, correcting examination books and pre^ 


paring lectures, she did while lying down. The 
last two years of her life, after her mother's 
illness, she reserved her Saturdays and Sundays 
as much as possible, but it was done for her 
mother's sake, not her own. Most of the latter 
years she was under the attention of a physi- 
cian, and was careful to follow his instructions, 
largely because she was afraid of being sick and 
of thus being kept away from college. "Work is 
my salvation," she would often say; and, "Wait 
till I get strong and rested this summer, and I 
will show you what I can do." However one 
may selfishly wish to have seen her less drained, 
less burdened, it must be remembered she never 
wished it so, would never willingly have con- 
sented to have it so. 

While in the last analysis It must be con- 
cluded that overwork played no part in the 
cause of her death, nevertheless a nameless 
pathos attaches to the thought of her life of 
ceaseless demands. There was, in childhood, 
the frail body and the close confidence of a 
mother burdened with a sense of financial stress 
and a pressing ambition for three children; in 
girlhood, the constant thought of need for an 
education that would enable her to earn a liv- 


ing and relieve her mother's cares; in later years, 
the numberless calls from diverse professional 
activities, the endless strain of meeting the hu- 
man cries of the many who leaded on the rich- 
ness of her spirit, always with a physical self 
that steadily weakened. Because she chose this 
crowded life, a note of disloyalty may hide in 
the suggestion that in her preference was cause 
for lamenting by any fellow-creature. That she 
welded the whole into a life of happiness is too 
well known to be commented on. " It is a pleas- 
ure merely to pass her in the halls, she is so 
bright and happy," somebody said. This out- 
standing fact of her pleasure in endless serving 
must never be forgotten. 

The fall of 1 91 3, Miss Norsworthy planned 
to take the first Sabbatical half-year she had 
permitted herself. Influenced by the pressure 
brought to bear on her to put her professional 
knowledge into book form, she decided to take 
the leave of absence she had earned so many 
times over and devote it to writing a book, the 
"Psychology of Childhood." Her brother's ap- 
proaching marriage would mean that her mother 
would not be alone, so that she might seek a 
quiet place free from expectation of interruption 


and gather material for the book her professional 
co-workers told her it was her duty to write. 
For once, she planned some relaxation. The 
writing should be the main thing, the balance 
that would keep her from feeling selfish or idle, 
but there was to be time for many other things, 
too: country drives, indulgence in certain books 
on which she had long had an eye of anticipa- 
tion, visits to picture galleries, letters to friends 
who too often might have seemed neglected, 
all the thousand things she had long wanted 
to do and could not find time for, should be 
packed into those free months. 

She found quarters that gave opportunities 
to carry out these delightful plans, and began 
her play-time. It was the first freedom she had 
ever known when college was in session. It 
was quickly ended. In less than a month the 
bolt fell; for the first time she was to learn 
the bitterness of a situation where will and in- 
telligence could not find a way out. The un- 
expected summons came that hurried her back 
to New York; her mother was ill. 

Then followed the hard struggle to have 
her mother's life spared, months of unending 
strain. All day she went through the round of 


duties and human calls at Teachers College, 
hastening home between classes to see her 
mother, or to the hospital during the ten weeks 
she was there. At night, every night she was 
at the mother's bedside, untiring, devoted, torn 
lest in her ignorance she might leave undone 
some possible means of comfort. She would 
not listen to any suggestion of a trained nhrse; 
her mother preferred her attendance, and she 
preferred to give it. A nurse was called in only 
a week before the end, though Mrs. Nors- 
worthy was not then reconciled to her presence. 
The daughter alone she wanted with her. How 
much physical suffering Miss Norsworthy was 
herself enduring the two years of her mother's 
illness, no one knows. She remarked more than 
once, half laughingly, that she believed she was 
affected by the same trouble, and would hasten 
to say, "Isn't that a lively imagination for 
you.^" There was no lessening in the outward 
demands. Her work at Teachers College went 
on as it had always done, without regard for the 
grief tugging at her heart. A dread that re- 
mained long to plague her was the fear that 
everything had not been done to lessen her 
mother's suffering. The doctor's assurance in 


this connection was sought more than once. 
This dread was not only the outcome of a 
daughter's devotion, but also of her belief that 
the duty lies heavy on us to use our intelligence 
to work out the best possible solution in all dif- 
ficulties. How little can be done to alleviate the 
wretchedness of the dread disease she was too 
soon to learn even more fully. 

It is a statement that can be made of few peo- 
ple who have reached years of maturity as had 
Miss Norsworthy that they have never come 
into close contact with death, have never seen 
the majesty with which it clothes the physical 
body. She had been shielded from the actuality 
of sight of it as a child, and the circumstances 
of her life had hitherto not brought it close. 
That fact may have made her mother's going 
all the harder. 

It was a loss difficult for her to meet, for she 
had never believed but that relief could be 
found. The knowledge of her mother's suffering 
which she had been powerless to relieve had 
burned deep in her; her sense of loss seemed 
inexpressibly increased by the thought that she 
no longer had the chance of making recompense 
to that mother, now that she could, for the long 


years of sacrifice and devotion so cheerfully 
met. She missed her mother sadly. 

When this long fight was ended, Miss Nors- 
worthy flung herself into her work with an in- 
tensity weakened greatly by the increasing con- 
sciousness of growing physical decline. She 
thought this condition largely a nervous one, 
engendered by the strain of nursing and anx- 
iety, and In this idea, physicians agreed. For 
some time she had suffered from what seemed 
superficially a form of rheumatism, and though 
she was under special treatment for it, the 
annoyance persisted. Digestive troubles, inter- 
mittent for some years, reappeared. She was 
repeatedly examined by physicians, several 
tests were made, and "low vitality" was the 
only definite diagnosis. A fact rather interest- 
ing is that she was during this time examined 
for life insurance, and given a far better rating 
than ten years before, because the doctor said 
her general health was much better. The sup- 
posed indigestion grew worse; a specialist was 
consulted, and the resultant diet apparently 
gave a temporary gain. The spring of 1916 was 
an especially hard one. She had never had so 
many invitations to distant states for addresses. 


She was persuaded to write in collaboration 
with one of the professors at Teachers College 
a book on "How to Teach." The head of the 
psychology department was absent on half- 
year's leave, and she assumed the responsibil- 
ity of acting head, together with the teaching 
of his graduate classes. Days and nights of 
work claimed her. There was increasingly con- 
stant physical pain. Physicians assured her she 
needed an absolute rest, and advised a year's 
leave. That advice she laughed off. How could 
she do anything like that, she asked, when her 
Sabbatical had come only two years before; and 
certainly she could not let her superior in com- 
mand come back. Her holiday time had been 
upset, and his should not be; anyway, there 
was nothing serious the matter. She could easily 
wait for the summer vacation; then she would 
get so strong that people would be amazed. 

It is always difficult to trace back the pos- 
sible beginnings of an insidious disease. In the 
present knowledge of medicine, there is no cer- 
tain way of diagnosing the trouble to which 
Miss Norsworthy fell a victim when its centers 
are hidden. Since 1910, she had been suscep- 
tible to what was wrongly thought to be the 


effects of cold, possibly some type of grippe. 
There was no alarm felt about it, though under 
different forms, the illness came time and again; 
at first it was never very severe, but enough to 
keep her under the care of the doctor. The pains 
she thought connected with the rheumatism, 
from which she suffered not a little. The close 
of the college year of 1916 found her completely 
worn.. When June came, she decided she should 
go to the seashore instead of waiting till July 
first to leave the city, as was her custom. For 
once she did not stay to commencement, hop- 
ing a complete change of air and diet would 
help the digestive troubles and the rheumatism. 
In the next few weeks, the disharmony steadily 
increased, and the pain grew so great she be- 
came alarmed for the first time. Hastening 
back to the city, she consulted the prominent 
surgeon who had attended her mother, and 
he advised an immediate operation. It was the 
third one she had undergone, and she faced it 
without apprehension. She spoke constantly 
of how happy and well she was going to be, once 
it was all over, how much she could accomplish 
the next college year. Considering her general 
condition, she stood the severest of operations 


apparently better than most women would have 
done. Of the real condition revealed by it she 
knew nothing. The doctors told her brother 
that life for her could be but a matter of months. 
They also urged that she be not told what was 
her actual condition. The disease was carci- 
noma; the hope for recovery, none. She might 
rally, and live for another year, though every 
probability was against it. Why, they said, rob 
her of a few months free from the knowledge of 
impending death; as one of them expressed it, 
"Why let her feel she is in the jaws of a trap 
when life is so full for her?" Temperamentally 
they thought she had slight powers to resist in 
a fight where defeat from the first was inevitable, 
so to tell her all meant to cut off her term of 
life by so much. If her strength returned, she 
might be able to teach again; no one could tell. 
Doctors are wise sometimes, but they did not 
know her longing for the truth, or her splendid 

Recuperation from the immediate effects of 
the operation was rapid. She was so happy to 
have it all done; possibly this condition had 
caused all her aches and pains, so she would be 
stronger than ever before, she said. Friends in 


their ignorance, seeing how she rallied, joined 
in gratulations. They showered on her expres- 
sions of their sympathy and pleasure until the 
little hospital room overran with flowers. It 
touched her heart. What a beautiful world, and 
how good a thing to feel the sweetness of human 
love! Her stay at the hospital was only sixteen 
days in duration, and in less than a month after 
the operation she was in the mountains, full of 
joyous anticipations for a return of health and 
strength. The passing weeks brought doubts. 
Somehow, she did not get her strength back as 
she should, she wrote friends; but it was a warm 
summer, and the water did not seem to suit her. 
All the people she knew who had had opera- 
tions so serious as hers said it took them a long 
while to grow strong again, but they had felt 
so well afterwards. Nobody must worry about 
her, for she was getting better slowly, and was 
planning such fine things for the new college 

Returning to the city in September, expect- 
ing to be back at the opening of the term at 
Teachers College, she was not pleased with her 
improvement, so called in the doctor. He told 
her she must not attempt to teach until she was 


stronger, a verdict that greatly disturbed her. 
No matter; she would rest and play and grow 
better so rapidly he would be compelled to let 
her go back to work on November ist. Maybe 
she would try to finish the two remaining chap- 
ters of the book, the "Psychology of Child- 
hood," interrupted three years before by her 
mother's illness. But the book had unhappy 
associations, and she could never find the mood 
to take it up again. The weeks passed in con- 
templation of her working schemes for her new 
classes, in sewing, and in enjoyment of her small 
niece, a tot of two years. No complaint, no 
word of sadness or uncertainty came from her, 
though slowly there was coming the realization 
that she was stricken to the death. The ist of 
November drew near. The pains returned, in- 
creased, grew too intense to be ignored. She 
planned to see the doctor at a time that no one 
should know of, that others might be spared as 
long as possible, and from him ask the whole 
truth. She faced him with characteristic direct- 
ness, and he told her all. She should have been 
told from the first, she thought, but now, the 
knowledge must be kept to herself, for it would 
distress others. She would write the engineering , 


brother who was in Africa so that he might come 
to her, but there was no need to sadden any 
one else, not even the other members of her 
family. Thus she decided. 

A week passed, and she gave to no one the 
slightest intimation that she knew how few 
were her numbered days. The family did not 
dream she knew; close friends came and went 
with no idea of her condition, or her realization 
of it. Then the ravages of the disease grew 
rapidly worse, and the suffering too intense for 
longer concealment. The discovery that her 
brother had known the truth since the opera- 
tion brought a flash of self-reproach for her own 
lack of divination. With the common sense that 
she always showed, she set about ordering her 
affairs in the face of the new situation. Her 
engagements for the winter were formally can- 
celed. The hospital would mean less free access 
to her friends, so if it was possible, she pre- 
ferred not to go there. She must see her friends 
as usual, though they should be spared sight 
or knowledge of her suffering. Certain ones she 
would herself tell or write of her serious illness, 
for it might make a difference could they know 
how she felt about it. The household must out- 


wardly be as nearly normal as possible. No one 
must speak of the "sadness of farewells." She 
wanted to keep in touch with Teachers College 
and know just what was going on there. A nurse 
must be engaged who would not try to keep her 
from doing as she pleased. There were some 
excellent new detective stories that she had been 
told she would enjoy. There were small remem- 
brances to be thought of. Plans for certain 
things to be adjusted afterward must be made 
with her brother, and once that disagreeable task 
was out of the way, things would be better. 

Then came the long, hard struggle between 
will and body. She must live till the brother 
coming from Africa could reach her, and that 
time could scarcely be hoped for before Thanks- 
giving. There were days of fear that the flicker- 
ing spark of life could not endure until her 
brother could reach New York. She asked re- 
peatedly, "Do you think I can last till he comes? 
What does the doctor think about how long 
my strength can hold?" 

The tortured body for a brief space yielded 
to the rallying of the brave spirit so long its 
master, and there came a few days of seeming 
respite. A thousand small daily interests claimed 


her. She was fearful that the nurse was not 
having what she liked to eat; one member of 
her inner circle had a wretched cold that noth- 
ing was being done for; had her father's clothes 
been sent to the cleaner? The little niece had 
to be entertained daily, and when far too weak 
to sit up. under a lesser stimulus, the appearance 
of that small lady meant "Nono" must be 
propped up so that they might look at picture 
books together, and discourse learnedly about 
them. Her business affairs and the direction of 
the small household she refused to give over 
to any other until unconsciousness forbade re- 
fusal. The wasting agony returned, after the 
hope of seeing the absent brother had become a 
reality. Nothing could have been more pathetic, 
or more wonderful, than to see her hide the 
actuality of her suffering from those on whom 
it would press heavily, even the nearest mem- 
bers of her family. Her greatest desire was 
under "the fell clutch of circumstance" neither 
"to wince nor cry aloud." Once when she 
thought a groan had been wrung from her she 
exclaimed, "My will seems gone, but please 
don't think I am a coward. Sometimes it catches 
me before I know it is coming." 


The Yuletlde approached. She asked what 
day of the month it was, and on being told, 
said, "Why, I must be thinking about my 
Christmas presents. This time, people will 
have to tell me what they want, I can't take 
time to plan for each one." She deeply regretted 
being unable to thank every friend who remem- 
bered her. Until the end, practically, she read 
all of the countless letters that came to her, and 
to many of them dictated answers. The beau- 
tiful flowers sent in such profusion she reveled 
in with the old-time, child-like, spontaneous joy. 
"People are so good to me. I hope they know 
how I like them, and appreciate their thinking 
of me," she repeatedly said; and, "I should 
like to live, if only to try to find some way to 
show how it all makes me feel. I have never 
done anything to deserve such expressions." 

As the Christmas holidays more closely ap- 
proached, there came another incentive to strug- 
gle for life that others might be spared at that 
season. She did not want to sadden the happi- 
est time of the year for her friends. She must 
try to take more nourishment. Could not the 
doctor suggest some means that would bring 
back her strength for just a little while? This 


desire to spare others flamed in her strongest 
of all. She shrank from the thought of adding 
to the grief of those who loved her; she shrank 
from a possible memory of her associated with 
pain or sadness. The exquisite tenderness of her 
could not avail. 

She died in the early hours of Christmas 



A NATURE differentiated as markedly as Miss 
Norsworthy's, albeit wide in range, is not im- 
possible of reduction to terms, mere catalogue 
though it will be. Psychologists warn us not 
to attempt to pigeon-hole mental characteristics 
in such compartments as "the intellectual, the 
volitional, the emotional, and moral," because 
the mind refuses to be other than "continu- 
ous." This fact makes it the simpler to cite 
qualities in a character like hers since they do 
not have to be classified, and in the life she 
lived, they were apparent even to the careless 
observer. Physically, mentally, spiritually, she 
was set apart, though the statement would call 
from her a prompt denial, indeed, an indignant 
one. Who that ever saw her once has forgotten 
her? The slight graceful figure was swift and 
quiet and effective in every movement; the sen- 
sitive face was full of light and responsiveness; 
the quick mind saw associations and possibili- 
ties with a flash of intuitive readiness. The 


gentleness, the strength, the power, — all these 
proclaimed her a Person. 

Physically she must have been handicapped 
all her life, though no one in her family seems 
to have thought so. There was a slight tend- 
ency to spinal curvature; one hip was a bit 
higher than the other, a trouble from which 
during her growing years she suffered. She 
went through three successive operations. Her 
weight was not at any time much above one 
hundred, usually balancing near the traditional 
"witch's weight" of ninety-nine. When on en- 
tering Teachers College she took the physical 
tests, the examining physijcian shook his head 
over her, she seemed so slight; he told her that 
she sadly lacked physical vigor, but her vitality 
and the fibre of her will would make up for 
much of the body's failure. Certainly there was 
a wiry, resisting quality in her, the one thing 
about herself that she was ever heard to boast 
of. It carried her bravely through the opera- 
tions, and through the drafting demands of a 
life whose duties were multiplied tenfold in 
comparison to those most of us know. Her 
movements were remarkably quick; there was 
something suggestive of the alertness of a wild 


creature in the swiftness of her physical re- 
sponses. Her senses were peculiarly exquisite; 
odors, colors, sounds, wrought upon her to a 
intense degree. The soft texture of her thin 
skin, t)ie fineness of her hair, the restlessness of 
her hands, her general nervous responsiveness, 
all bespoke excessively keen sensibility. She 
often had applied to her the well-worn simile of 
a human violin, strung to a high pitch. 

The striking feature of her face were the eyes: 
"wood-brown pools of paradise" they were. 
They are one cause for the sad disappointment 
in all pictures of her, the eyes, together with 
the mobility of the face. Her skin was dark, with 
an undertone of pink; the hair was dark-brown, 
with an auburn gleam here and there in a strong 
light, and very fine. The high forehead, the 
brow of the artist, the thin face, and the unquiet 
mouth made up a physiognomy that on the 
whole spoke more of the poet and the mystic 
than the scientist. Her eyes caught the high- 
lights, and their unusual depth and sympathy 
helped fascinate all who came under her spell. 
"Her eyes are too dressy for the daytime," was 
once said of them. The appeal of her wonderful 
eyes and the magnetic grasp of her hands are 


truly unforgettable. Their power remained when 
all others had waned; every one who saw her 
during the last sad weeks of her life spoke of 
the vigor of her hand-clasp and the voiceful 
depths of her eyes when all other strength had 

Her physical appearance must not be left 
without reference to her love for brown. She 
might choose dresses of other colors, but she 
never liked them, and would seldom wear them. 
Her dark skin, brown hair and eyes, and the 
pleasant shades of brown she dressed in made 
a satisfying ensemble, the toning of which accen- 
tuated the impression of a wild, woodsy thing, 
gathered from her keen alertness. 

Mentally and spiritually, she was indeed the 
Greek ideal; "Senses, imagination, and reason 
unfolded in their highest reach." Her life 
moved "on in rhythmical accord with God, 
nature, man." Sympathy was the basic quality 
that drew people to her. Added to this native 
endowment were a devoted serviceableness; a 
boundless generosity; an allegiance to truth, 
all of the truth, all of the time; an indomitable 
will; a fine courage; the joy of a child in little 
things, and a delicious sense of humor. Per- 


meating her being was a sanity that was re- 
freshing and invigorating; she "saw life stead- 
ily and saw it whole" as few ever do. 

That these characteristics were impinged 
upon a background of great shyness, the out- 
come of both " nurture and nature," serves but 
to deepen the note of interest in her personality. 
Her natural shrinking was one of the tempera- 
mental weaknesses with which her will so suc- 
cessfully coped. The Italian writer. Sera, in 
his volurne, "On the Tracks of Life," discusses 
the trait of shyness in a suggestive way. He 
writes : 

"Shyness in its more enduring forms is re- 
vealed as an exuberance of inner force, mental 
life and physical activity, which act on the in- 
dividual who happens to possess them, for want 
of something else. At this time it appears as a 
disease of the intelligence. But on account of 
this characteristic, when it succeeds in direct- 
ing its strength externally, — in making the in- 
dividual forget the ego, — then we may hope 
for a splendid victory. That is to say, a shy 
man is often so merely because he has a bad 
opinion of himself; he is often an optimist for 
himself; even if he sometimes succeeds in con- 


quering himself, and appearing boastful and 
proud, he is certainly not so practically. More- 
over, pride, in so far as it is neglect of others, 
has often its origin in shyness, and this consti- 
tutes a reaction in the sense of one's own soli- 
tude. Shyness is a circumlocution, a pause, a 
detour of the intelligence. It is a companion 
of all spiritual progress, of every ascent toward 
superiority. It is the pain of every one who 
feels differently from others, but who has re- 
spect for truth and the sense of the difficulty 
of establishing it; the anguish of him who feels 
a new world in himself; but who also feels that 
it is a too different world. 

" It is a significant observation, already made 
by others, that many of the greatest artists and 
poets were shy. To give only a few names, we 
may mention, for example, Virgil, Ovid, Hor- 
ace, amongst the ancients ; Correggio, Michelet, 
Beethoven, Lamartine, Wagner, Chopin, among 
the moderns. Almost all the greatest thinkers, 
the greatest minds, were afflicted with this mal- 
ady; from Newton, whose shyness was prover- 
bial, to Montesquieu, Rousseau, Kant, and 
Hegel. Even men of action and of the greatest 
action of all — government — suffered from it. 


I think the reason Is, perhaps, that a mind 
which wishes to rise to great heights is exqui- 
sitely sensitive." 

Professor Sera's conclusion, that "a mind 
which wishes to rise to great heights is exqui- 
sitely sensitive," was substantiated in Miss 
Norsworthy's case. 

Her sympathy and serviceableness should not 
be noted as separate things, so intermingled 
were they; anyway, they may be told of as part 
of her life-attitude, and will therefore be only 
mentioned here. Under the quality of sym- 
pathy correctly belongs, also, the generosity, 
too big not to be dwelt on apart. 

One of the trifling but significant ways in 
which her generosity showed itself was in her 
attitude towards those who ministered to her 
creature comfort. She invariably overpaid serv7 
ants, and her "tips" were munificent com- 
pared to her means. She justified herself when 
scolded by saying not every one could under- 
stand the pleasure of an unexpected spending 
capacity, for not every one had known the 
depths of a scanty pocket-book, therefore it 
behooved those who did know to be doubly 
generous. She was at all times a spendthrift 


with money. It gave her untold pleasure to do 
surprising things for people, things they could 
not afford to do for themselves and she could 
no more afford to do for them. She would plead 
in self-extenuation that the only purpose she 
knew for money was to get what it could give; 
that she would never live to be old; and further, 
she carried endowment insurance, and expected 
to be on the Carnegie Pension Fund list if she 
should live out the allotted years, so why bother 
about money? No anniversary in the life of a 
friend was allowed to pass unnoticed. And what 
cause for prodigal reveling she did find in the 
spirit of the Christmas season! It was an ex- 
pansive time for her. Weeks before she would 
begin to rack her brain for people whom she 
could remember and give unexpected pleasure. 
The list grew longer and more amazing each 
year. She never dared reckon her holiday ex- 
penditures, influenced, it is easy to believe, by 
the desire to get away from the slight sense of 
financial proportion that she had, as well as 
to reserve the opportunity of answering ig- 
norantly if an inquiry might stray in from an 
over-curious member of the family. Her enjoy- 
ment of beautiful things easily augmented the 


tendency towards extravagance. How she did 
like pretty clothes! The pleasure she found in 
the spending of money would disarm all criti- 
cism, however determined it was, or full of de- 
sire for her own sparing. She never wanted to 
be spared anything, pleasant or unpleasant. 
Her mother used to shake her head sometimes, 
but it was done with an indulgent smile, as one 
meets the ways of a child who will some day 
grow up and out of such habits. This extrava- 
gance seemed part of the lavishness of her na- 
ture, and no one who saw it in play could really 
have wished it different. Among simple folk 
there is a belief that people filled with the es- 
sence of giving are "born with the hand open." 
She was one of them. 

The quality of generosity manifested itself 
in other ways. The time she spent on other peo- 
ple has been dwelt upon. Some notice must be 
taken of the help she gave to two classes of peo- 
ple, backward students, and mothers seeking 
advice about their children. There was the 
period when she first came to Teachers College 
when most of her spare hours were spent in 
coaching, for which she never accepted pay. 
In later years, mothers puzzled by retardation 


tendencies in their children freely came to her 
for advice. For one such case she was a consul- 
tant for years, assuming entire direction of the 
child's development, testing progress at stated 
intervals, and doing it all without remunera- 
tion. When it is recalled that this field was her 
professional one, that her advice was expert 
advice, with fees commonly attaching thereto, 
and that she did it constantly with no thought 
of pay, it is seen as peculiarly characteristic. 

Her love for truth was notable. It was the 
cause of much teasing by friends and brothers, 
who would try to assure her that society has 
created certain conventional fictions in order 
to reduce wear and tear. She could never be 
made to listen patiently to any such idea. With 
Thomas a Kempis she fully believed, " Without 
the truth there is no knowing; without the way, 
there is no going." She never resorted to sub- 
terfuge, however slight. Deception of any kind 
incensed her. "To tell and to know the whole 
truth is the one way to keep things straight, 
she would say. "You can't fib to Naomi" was 
a byword with her brothers. A surface para- 
dox seems to exist between her adherence to the 
bald truth and her beautiful tactfulness. The 


happy reconciliation of the two qualities is one 
of the strong proofs of her "genius." She 
claimed that to be straight as a die was the 
one way to prevent the tangles that call for 

For her own part, the clarity of her life 
was a thing one instantly recognized, and 
dared not be unmindful of; one felt that one 
could not transgress the law of truth and hope 
to keep her respect. This trait was strikingly 
shown during her last illness by the unconscious 
testimony of the nurse, hitherto a stranger. 
"You cannot deceive her," the nurse said; "it 
does n't matter how little a thing it may be, 
or how much you feel you should keep it back 
for her own sake; somehow, once she turns 
her great eyes on you, out it all comes." Her 
intuitive nature pierced all disguises, and her 
straightforwardness impelled truth in others. 
Her very simplicity and dislike for ostentation 
were parts of this love for truth. It is easy to 
linger over this trait of Miss Norsworthy's, 
though it may be that the fact it is even worth 
mentioning is a sad commentary. 

Not less remarkable was her strength of will. 
We are told this sort of thing cannot be inher- 


ited, but a thought of the fine will of her mother 
is inescapable. As a dominant power it carried 
far both mother and daughter. In Miss Nors- 
worthy, it can be traced as a powerful factor 
from the earliest years when, despite physical 
handicaps that would have deterred a child 
of ..less forcefulness, we find her following her 
brothers and their boy friends in their childish 
rompings ; we find it through the' years of ap- 
prenticeship as a student, when no physical 
discomfort was allowed to project itself between 
her and the goal for which she had set out; we 
find it in maturer years when without complaint, 
day in and day out, she met demands from a 
thousand sources that well might have stag- 
gered a robust person; we find it in the last few 
months of her life when stricken beyond help, 
she repressed the least call for sympathy lest 
it should add to the grief of those who, loving 
her, grieved for her pain. Even in the last half- 
conscious moments of her life, this wonderful 
will asserted itself; she forced herself to swallow 
nourishment and to keep it down by a mighty 
effort of conscious willing, hoping thus to eke 
out her painful life past the Christmas season, 
always for her so glad a time, that hereafter the 


returning holiday cycle might hold no sad asso- 
ciation for those nearest her. 

The surmise persists that possibly the bit- 
terest portion of her physical collapse was that 
no longer could the will prevail. For long, from 
the childhood years when she had been taught 
the beauty of repression by the Spartan mother 
— that long had the fiat of her splendid will 
controlled the haltings and limitations of the 
frail body. It could do so no longer! Therein 
lay the real tragedy of her fatal illness. Her 
heart had been set on returning by a certain 
date, despite the doctor's opinion, to her round 
of duties at Teachers College; her true physical 
condition had up to that time been kept from 
her. This date she fixed upon, and fused her 
will into one purpose concerning. When the 
day approached, and with it realization that, 
despite her determination, she could not return, 
and that her will was no longer supreme, from 
that time can be reckoned her surrender. She 
gave up. Life for her was over. 

The power of concentration, developed so 
highly in her, was the product of this will. The 
friend who was her roommate at normal school 
for three years being asked what she consid- 


ered Miss Norsworthy's strongest character- 
istic replied without a second's hesitation, "The 
ability to concentrate on a thing and conquer 
it," No one who ever saw her set herself to a 
task could doubt her unusual gift in concentra- 

One of Dr. Norsworthy's great charms was 
the child in her. In her enjoyment of pleasure 
and in her spontaneity of appreciation she 
showed the open genuineness of the child. She 
could identify herself with children, and it was 
charming to see her with them. Her valuation 
of money was childlike. Her sense of fun had 
in it the bubbling note of youth; this is among 
the things that stand out as the final test of her 
character as an "all-round" one. Who could 
hear her delightful little chuckle without smil- 
ing.? She had a child's undisguised joy in pleas- 
ant surprises, in delighted curiosity about 
things that promised, in impatient anticipa- 
tion of a "good time." All her life her mother 
had to hide her Christmas greetings from her 
till the glad morning came; it was so difficult 
for her to wait. She found a peculiar happiness 
in teasing to know what she might expect on 
birthdays and at Christmas. Beyond what 


might be fancied, did one not know her well, 
she loved to tease anyway. Her quick mind 
saw lapses of inconsistence very readily, and 
she never hesitated to make the best of them. 
A bit wary as to her ability to "tell jokes," she 
seldom attempted it, save under compulsion. 
Possibly her friends encouraged this attitude 
by assuring her that inability to "be funny" 
on her own account was one of the sad limita- 
tions of her English descent. But surely no one 
could more readily lend herself to the spirit of 
fun. It was natural unconsciously to treasure 
up rare bits to retail to her, so sure was the de- 
lighted response, whether it was for the gratui- 
tous point of a joke, or for a recounting of some 
human anecdote. Her sense of the fitness of 
things, not inaptly here associated with a sense 
of humor, was large. It may provoke a smile 
to learn that Miss Norsworthy encouraged both 
of her brothers to smoke by presenting them 
with complete equipments therefor as soon as 
their ages justified. It represented in her eyes 
a manly habit that was proper, and she wished 
to promote it. 

Her courage was little to be expected in one 
of her temperament. While perhaps not aggres- 


sive in one way, the way marked by hewing 
initiative, she would fight for any cause or any- 
body that had her belief. It was a fighting that 
knew no let-up, too, till the issue was closed. 
A sense of personal fear could not be associated 
with her. One friend tells of an occasion when 
Miss Norsworthy came near harm from restive 
horses and afterwards she seemed filled with 
the dread of having appeared frightened. Her 
pride evidently was in being afraid of being 
afraid. She may have lacked initiative; if lack 
it she did, it was not from any faintness of cour- 
age, but to all intents and purposes because her 
crowded life had small chance to give it play. 
Her days were too full of straightening out the 
tangles and problems of other people to have 
much time left for new projects that she might 
have fostered. 

Intellectually her striking characteristic was 
incisiveness. Her mentality was discerning, log- 
ical, unerring in its ability to clear away extra- 
neousness and go to the heart of a matter. 
There was nothing blurred or hesitant about it; 
she could "hit the bull's-eye" every time. Pos- 
sibly this mental quality in her was what rec- 
onciled men to being in her classes at Teachers 


College. The delight of those who knew her 
was to have some unsuspecting new student 
"measure swords" with her. It was not un- 
usual to see two distinct groups at such times; 
those members of the class who, her devoted 
followers, felt that no one should be dense 
enough to question her conclusions in her own 
field; and others who felt the "play was on," 
and it was time to sit back and enjoy the clash, 
for "the death" of the aspiring student's argu- 
ments was a matter of moments. Miss Nors- 
worthy, however, had little taste for wit-com- 
bats. In her classroom she could not have felt 
otherwise than that her students were with 
her; they saw her "prove her steel" too often 
not to believe that her blade was a trenchant 
one. But in the broader social circles she did 
not like argument, possibly because she feared 
attendant hurt feelings. Controversy was most 
distasteful to her, capable though she was to 
hold her own. Her decisions were made promptly, 
with due regard to circumstance. One of her 
mental gifts was the ability to see all sides of 
a question, and where consequences might lead. 
Preeminently she had a certain quality of 
imagination that enabled her to project herself 


into the minds of others, grasp their attitudes 
or mental states, and thus adequately help 
them to meet situations. This imagination laid 
hold upon everything, heightened as it was by 
the sensitivity of her physical self; it vitalized 
whatsoever it touched. Imagination may not 
be a concomitant of prescience, but surely it 
is a necessary accompaniment of it. Joined as 
the trait was in Miss Norsworthy with an eager 
intellect and a passionate sympathy, it made a 
rich soil for the sprouting of whatever of human 
interest was planted in it. Her ability to medi- 
tate in an imaginative way was doubtless one 
of the means by which she could so often find 
a way out of mazes of difficulty and misunder- 
standing that did not so readily open up to the 
minds of others. Is not this power to dwell on 
details in imagination, to recombine them and 
view them in new lights, one of the marks by 
which the artist's mind may be distinguished? 

Her mind was excellent. Its range is shown 
by the versatility of her interests and responses; 
note her intense fondness for science, art, and 
that which she held above all else, human life. 
Her control of attention was very great. There 
was nothing diffusive in her attitude; it was 


"this one thing I do" always. Herein lies an- 
other explanation for the impression she made 
of giving herself wholly to the person who had 
her attention, a something that intensified his 
sense of her personal interest, and her value. 
This ability to concentrate on one thing has 
been considered in the face of her delicate con- 
stitution as evidence of her splendid will, but 
it is not to be denied that it is a mark, also, 
of intellectual power. Her mind was singularly 
lucid, "full of knowledge and thought as well 
as color and emotion." In its keenness of in- 
tuition there was a mark of feminine genius; 
in its ratiocinative quality a mark of masculine 
ingenuity. She possessed, too, that mark of the 
finer intellect that demands at once some sort 
of working theory. The label that may be given 
to her intellectual forcefulness is one few peo- 
ple can justly lay claim to; it is sagacity. 

There was in her nothing more admirable 
than her fine pride. She had pride in her work, 
in her ability to "carry a message to Garcia"; 
it showed itself in attention to details, in the 
steady pushing she gave to whatever she under- 
took, in her unwillingness to give up once she 
had set her hands to a task. She had pride in 


her friends, and her wish to please them in 
the least thing. Her pride showed itself, too, in 
her willingness to "fight for her own," in her 
endurance, and control. In one of hrt letters 
she makes a reference to the symbolical meaning 
she had found in the childhood contest of see- 
ing who could longest hold out an extended arm; 
this sort of pride typified what was one of her 
controlling life-forces. How clearly it shone in 
the closing weeks when she feared lest any seem- 
ing succumbing to pain might make her appear 
cowardly! One kind of pride she often in- 
veighed against, the kind that concerns itself 
with appearances, and false values of all sorts. 
What has been here called her pride in the last 
analysis may not be so at all, but instead a 
"compound of many simples," of loyalty, and 
thoughtfulness, and thoroughness, and endur- 

Next to her sympathy that trait oftenest 
drafted by others was her tact. Maybe the 
qualities are one. Friction of any kind was dis- 
tasteful to Miss Norsworthy; it rasped on her 
sense of harmony and ideality, and to lessen it 
meant not only a duty, but a sense of personal 
relief, once she knew it existed. Her tact, so 


impenetrated other qualities in her, however, 
that to dwell on it is needless reiteration. 

A characteristic not to be omitted as very- 
strong in her was scorn — "a furnace blast of 
righteous indignation" some one has called it 

for self-shielding in error, for temporizing, 

for expedience, for cowardice. Knowing no fear, 
she despised the weakness that glozes over in 
the name of "policy," the indifference or the 
trepidation that causes any holding back from 
the fair fight. One thing beyond her to under- 
stand was how a "trimmer" could be tolerated. 
Where she stood on every question involving 
right was always known. She hid nothing, 
feared nothing. Get her roused in such a mat- 
ter, and she could dilate on it longer than on 
any other. Pretense in any form found her what 
Dr. Johnson calls "a very good hater." 

The sanity presiding over these character- 
istics is not usual in a woman of her tempera- 
ment. Despite all her very feminine traits, — 
tenderness, and enthusiasm, and responsive- 
ness, — she had rare powers of detachment; 
cool judgment made her opinions well worth 
having. Her analytical mind enabled her to 
see relations as a whole, and with her keen in- 


tuition, made her point of view valuable. This 
detached sanity was possibly the one masculine 
touch in her. Men appreciated it, and many 
chose to elicit it in the consideration of their 
problems; she, in turn, greatly valued their 
outlook, and often sought it, when weighing 
her own. 

The corollaries of some of these characteris- 
tics are to be expected. No one who cultivates 
his will need hope to escape the charge of stub- 
bornness; and as truly can no one hope for the 
endowment of acute sensibility and expect to 
escape impatience. Miss Norsworthy had her 
share of both. Her stubbornness was of the 
quiet kind. Once she made up her mind, as 
to the right of a course of action, it worked 
with utmost concentration and singleness of 
purpose; her unobtrusive inflexibility was dis- 
concerting to opposition, and not a little unex- 
pected in a person of so much gentleness. Just 
one thing could move her, and that was the 
fear of making anything harder for another 
when there was no need; should such a condi- 
tion exist, she would take great pains to ex- 
plain the factors and ends of her own motives. 
If the matter involved a point concerning her- 


self, it was dropped until the time seemed more 
opportune, but bob up it surely would. Her 
manner of persuasion was so winning that most 
people found themselves no longer opposing her 
without necessarily being convinced. 

Impatience, and its accompaniment, tem- 
per, grounded in the quickness of her mentality 
and her nervous susceptibility, were under that 
splendid control so a part of her. The restless 
shifting of her feet was an idiosyncrasy easily 
to be observed by any one who knew her well 
when she was stirred by obtuseness or any 
sort of crassness. This nervousness was oftenest 
the only sign of the inward storm. Untidiness, 
shiftiness, procrastination, deception could rouse 
her. Flashes of temper were too rare to be 
spoken of, though there are family traditions 
concerning them; one tells how, in childhood, 
she slapped a playmate who had hit her dog, 
and another that in recent years a glass of wa- 
ter came dashing over a very surprised brother 
who had teased her to the point of desperation. 
These "saving sins" in mature years were 
never let out of hand; more than once she was 
known to say she would give little for the per- 
son who had no temper to control. 


To draw the line between character and tem- 
perament is not always easy. Temperament, 
we are told, is "inherited tendencies to af- 
fective states." These tendencies become the 
stuff of which habits and, therefore, character 
are made. Temperament is the background 
that determines if our life colors shall glow or 
fade; as such it demands attention. 

Miss Norsworthy's most striking emotional 
characteristic was responsiveness, recorded over 
and again. Hers was an intense nature; she 
vibrated to every call of life that touched her, 
as the string of a musical instrument will 
through space pick up its note, if that note be 
struck. For dumb things, birds and animals, the 
response was immediate, heartfelt. Her love for 
pets was decided. She often bemoaned having 
to live in an apartment house because she could 
not have a dog. Her understanding of children 
has been told. Little as she professed to re- 
member of her own childhood, she could easily 
enter a child's world and be at home in it. A 
friend of her mother's tells of a time when Miss 
Norsworthy was a guest in her home. Her 
young son of twelve years was the proud owner 
of a billiard table, just acquired, and of the 


several grown-ups in the large party being enter- 
tained in the home, his choice fell on Miss Nors- 
worthy to play billiards with him, and he would 
listen to no reasoning from his mother that pos- 
sibly she might prefer other society and games 
than his. Miss Norsworthy, at the time a pro- 
fessor in Teachers College, entered with due 
zest into billiard playing with the small boy, and 
the mother has never forgotten the ease with 
which she could turn from that serious busi- 
ness to the inconsequential interests and pur- 
suits of the "Olympians," as Kenneth Grahame 
pityingly calls grown-ups. 

Nowhere was Miss Norsworthy's respon- 
siveness more evident than in her unfailing and 
boundless joy in every form of beauty; flowers, 
and music, and sunset skies, "called the spot of 
joy into her cheek." One of the hidden sources 
of pleasure in her life was her love for poetry; 
the hiding it was partly a timidity born of her 
mother's avowed attitude to it, and partly the 
impulse we all know to hide deep the things that 
mean much to us. Once in an address at Teach- 
ers College, she grew bold enough to quote from 
Lanier's "Marshes of Glynn," a favorite with 
her; it came to one person who heard it as a 


surprise great enough to call forth the comment, 
"Miss Norsworthy's using that quotation gave 
me a wholly new side-light on her." For many 
years she carried in the hand-bag that was in 
daily use a diminutive copy of Mrs. Browning's 
"Sonnets from the Portuguese," that at odd 
moments she might revel in them. It was her 
custom to clip current poetry from newspapers 
and magazines, for a scrap-book, and then she 
laughingly would wonder what her mother 
might think should she chance upon the space 
in the rifled magazine. 

It is easy to give a false impression by put- 
ting undue stress on the seriousness of Miss 
Norsworthy's nature. Unquestionably the reli- 
gious convictions of her mother deeply colored 
the childhood years, and the hard exactions of 
a too-full life left small playtime, but she was 
too primal a being not to be athrob with the 
joy of living. It may safely be considered the 
strongest note in her letters, and they are very 
characteristic. Her abounding enthusiasm, her 
pleasure in the moment, her playfulness of 
spirit were no more than expressions of the child 
in her. Not enough has been said of that spirit 
of the child, and of the utter joy it could find 


in little things; it was so strong she dreaded 
lest it be misunderstood, and she outwardly re- 
strained it, but beneath the surface, and with a 
few people, it ran riot. She spoke of herself in 
the third person as "Nomy Norsy" very often. 
She did not minimize matters of momentary 
interest, as people narrowly serious so often do; 
her spontaneity was too great. The quality of 
being "easily made glad" was among the great- 
est of her attractions; it persisted as long as 
consciousness held. The flowers th^t came to 
her in such profusion during her illness had to 
be examined for individual beauties; the bird 
must be brought into her room that he might 
not have to "talk to himself"; the least con- 
cern in the daily lives about her must be re- 
tailed to her. She was impulsive naturally, and 
though contact with many situations and more 
people had taught her to curb it, the play of 
it was not far from the surface. 

Her temperament was wholly free from any 
touch of morbidness or brooding. Optimism 
is a word almost too trite to use in connection 
with her; its context is often suggestive of un- 
thinking cheerfulness. She could always find 
light in a situation however foreboding, and 


took vast pleasure in looking for it. Her per- 
sistence and intelligence and faith could find 
the redeeming hope, an attribute which in no 
small degree accounted for the light-giving 
quality in her that so many people rejoiced in. 
Discontent or despondence found no resting- 
place in her heart. This intentness on finding 
a thoroughfare to a happy solution for diffi- 
culties was evidenced in her vast belief in other 
people. One instance of a wretched strain put 
upon her friendship still makes the, indignation 
of others flare up; but she worked her way 
through it, and her friendship for the offender 
suffered no break. Her lack of physical vigor, 
no less than the general trend of her tempera- 
ment, would lead one to expect variations in 
her moods, but they did not exist. Sometimes, 
when worn to the last jot of bodily strength, 
she would exclaim, "I'm done for"; but her 
recuperative powers were great, and in a short 
space the weariness would be gone. There was 
in her that surprisingly strong fibre of resistance 
which the joy of living was far too strong to 
allow to be hampered. 

In keeping with the laws of this tempera- 
ment, Miss Norsworthy's reserve was very 


great. Possibly reserve is for such people a form 
of nature's "protective coloration," for they 
can suffer so keenly that some means of pres- 
ervation is a necessity. Her reserve did not 
appear on the surface, for she was so wholly 
absorbed in the other person that he failed to 
observe what she felt or liked was obscured 
from him. The utter readiness of her sympathy, 
the open allegiance to spiritual ideals, were apt 
to blind one to the fact that her own self sel- 
dom appeared. Her love for poetry and for mu- 
sic, her vivacity, her impulsiveness, her capac- 
ity for feeling, her susceptibility of imagination, 
— all of what might be called a Celtic, strain 
in her, was not known by many even of her 
nearest friends. She was almost ashamed of 
this side of her nature, and strove to hide it, 

Her mother's attitude had much to do with 
this feeling in her, as has been remarked, and 
Miss Norsworthy herself had gathered from 
her environment a profound admiration for the 
"firmness, tenacity, and close held-on facts" 
of the typical Englishman. Her reserve was 
further deepened by her shyness. The very in- 
tensity of her nature helped to make her as 


reserved as she was. The fires were hidden only, 
however; they were not smothered. 

After such specifications, it should hardly be 
necessary to denominate hers the so-called 
"artistic temperament," though there is no 
doubt she would laugh at the classification. 
The resonance, the enthusiasm, the imagina- 
tion, the love for harmony and all forms of 
beauty, the excessive sensibility in general 
proclaim her so. A born lover of the good, a 
seeker for perfection, is not that one an artist.' 
The highest form of art lies in making people 
happy; art rejoices in the harmonies to be 
found or made between man and man. The 
nearer the life can stay to elementary human 
needs and the spiritual agencies that can satisfy 
them, the closer is it to beauty. To find the 
most delicate adjustments; to grow in instinc- 
tive sympathy with other lives, divining their 
secrets by one's own; to love the material of 
to-day, to master it, and to interpret it through 
imagination with sympathy and truth; to 
merge all one's living into an ideal that beckons 
to the highest, — surely these things mean to 
be an "artist." And such an artist was Miss 
Norsworthy. Without the gift of her tempera- 


ment there could not have been that fusion of 
intellectual and spiritual qualities that made 
her the valuable person that she was. It height- 
ened the pleasure and the pain of every stimulus 
from material and human contact. Often she 
said she was glad she had known the alliance 
with pain, for it had baptized her "into the 
grace and privilege of seeing." 

This catalogue is not without its contradic- 
tions. Be it said again they were in the woman. 
It is a fancy easy of indulgence to think of her as 
reflecting a scintilla from each of the many kinds 
of people she daily spent her life for, thus add- 
ing new facets to her own nature. This many- 
sidedness holds a suggested solution for the 
elusiveness of her charm. But the listing is 
utterly futile. The "impossible task" yet re- 
mains, for the "pulse of the machine" stirs not, 
the image is wooden. Beyond it calls the mem- 
ory of her as she was, a "Presence that will not 
be put by." 



It may be argued that no line should be 
drawn between a person's characteristics and 
his attitudes and beliefs, and yet certainly in 
the latter is far more conscious choice and will- 
ing than in the former; the one may be called 
individual, the other personal. Felix Adler 
says: "The individual in so far as ethicized is 
a personality. Empirical man with his defects 
and his qualities, is an individual; empirical 
man in so far as he is transformed in subjection 
to the rational ideal is a personality. An individ- 
ual has value, a personality has worth." With 
the worth-whileness of the ideals that made Miss 
Norsworthy a personality, then, despite the 
cost of inevitable repetition, this chapter shall 
deal in the hope that it may lead to a more pene- 
trating insight into the nature of the precious- 
ness of the ethical aims that made her life 
worth while on its own account, that gave her 

Contrary terms descriptive of certain of her 


attitudes and beliefs at once spring to mind, 
terms not in themselves paradoxical, but sur- 
prising as existing in the same person. For ex- 
ample, her gentleness and forbearance might 
cause one to think her a pacifist, whereas she 
was a believer in the "rooted bellicosity" of the 
race, and war she could justify; what for lack 
of a better name has been termed "mysticism" 
in her might lead one to think her an idle 
"dreamer of dreams," whereas in practice she 
was so much of a pragmatist that she deserved 
to be called by H. G. Wells's word, an "effi- 
cient"; her sympathy, grounded on her "best 
insight and best love" was so broad that it might 
impel one to think her a socialist in the best 
sense whereas she was a confirmed individualist. 
That these contrasts are among the zest-giving 
qualities of all unusual natures is a common- 
place. An harmonious combination she was of 
individuality and personality, of value and of 

Miss Norsworthy's ideals centered about her 
profound belief that the individual life is only 
noble, only worthy, as it strives to harmonize 
and perfect its triune nature, the volitional, 
intellectual, and spiritual. Through striving 


comes strength. The spiritual is the illuminating 
and inspiring power without which there can 
be no hope of laying hold upon the essential, 
the eternal. It is the life of the spirit alone that 
can impart life. The intuitive, the non-dis- 
cursive, in human hearts deeply interested and 
concerned her. Here she thought is to be found 
life's truest and best, to be revealed step by 
step to all whom reverent knowledge and sym- 
pathetic insight enable to find the way. By 
what radiates from the "imprisoned splendor" 
within the hopes for man's highest destiny are 
warmed and strengthened. Just as loving the 
truth brings one nearer the true, even so loving 
the spiritual brings us nearer the spirit. The 
fairest and finest in will and intellect are pos- 
sible as the two are vitalized by an absolute 
devotion to spiritual ideals, in themselves 
"oracles of vital Deity, attesting the Here- 
after." Life's highest mission is to bring into 
vital glow the divine in the human; this mis- 
sion has been the glory and the dream of all 
great personalities since the world began, reach- 
ing its highest fulfillment in the God-man, 
Christ. The cardinal principle of her belief was 
that the compelling duty of every human life 


is consciously and ceaselessly to mould person- 
ality after the Ideal of Him who brought "new 
feeling fresh from God," Who taught what 
faith is, what service is, what consecration is. 
Only the soul striving through belief in the 
beauty and strength of this ideal to express in 
daily deeds and maybe homely tasks the prompt- 
ings of the "Vision splendid" can hope to tread 
the "King's highway" and to steady others 

With the blight of unfaith she had small pa- 
tience. She felt that the doubts that can arise 
from the bare conclusions of the intellect should 
be met and repelled by the sharp challenge of 
the intuitive side which can "know that it 
knows," though the intellect may not under- 
stand; this challenge may be firmly based on 
conviction not to be gainsaid, won in self- 
abandonment to the service of the Christ-ideal. 
To give one's self without question or reserva- 
tion to sharing His tasks through consecrated 
living is to find a satisfying answer to the pallid 
doubts of the intellect, and throw us in noble 
trust upon 

"That still ray 
Which strikes out from you, how, you cannot tell, 
And vrhfi you know not, . . . [and] 
Goes straight and fast as ligilt, and higb as God." 


The underlying principle of all her attitudes 
and beliefs, therefore, was the ethical or reli- 
gious one. With all the strength of her intense 
nature she felt " as long as any man exists, there 
is some need for him." That "need" she be- 
lieved to be found in the inter-dependence of 
human creatures. The true aim is consecrated 
service, through self-renunciation; by influen- 
cing the lives of others, releasing their highest 
excellence, one may hope to be in turn stimu- 
lated by them into a fresher and higher excel- 
lence. "To love more and more the beauty of 
what is right, to turn with increasing faith from 
the imperfection in us all to the Perfection 
above ua all" was her unvarying desire. The 
passion for service showed in her daily attitude 
towards all men; it was the most cherished aim 
that she ever knew. She believed that all life is 
progression, upward and steady, as one strives 
with all his intellect and will and aspirations for 
the best brought by each day; this never-ending 
aspiration, this endless endeavor, is inseparable 
from a spirit life of true vitality. Take life as 
it comes, work with it and through it, transform 
it, use it as a mighty lever that to-morrow 
may better to-day's opportunity for a greater 


service. She never mistook the material with 
which she worked, nor sought to over-spiritual- 
ize it. There are lines in Browning's "Saul" 
she especially liked: 

"How good is man's life, the mere living! how fit to employ 
i All the heart and the soul and the senses, forever in joy." 

Death is not the end, but the opening to a 
broader field where our efforts shall be far freer; 
but to-day is no time to revel in anticipation, 
only to live. In some unknown way, our hope 
for progress in the Hereafter depends on our 
desire to fulfill the struggle here and on our suc- 
cess in it. Nor does success as the world knows 
it and believes in it matter at all. " By the pain- 
throb," by the struggle may progress be won. 
The mere achievement avails nothing. A de- 
sired end once attained, it is worse than useless 
if the strength overcome in its winning be not 
used to press on to yet broader fields of oppor- 
tunity for service. No victory can be accounted 
such unless it holds within itself inspiration for 
a fresh battle. The fruit includes the seeds; 
another undertaking larger, finer, must spring 
from the old, or decay has somewhere struck 
in. The striving should always be for a defin- 
ite, clearly planned aim. First of all, there must 


be recognition of the common bond of human- 
ness. "How very human we all are, and how 
much alike," she says in one of her letters. To 
recognize this alikeness means to enter more 
perfectly into the lives of others, to make others 
feel the oneness of our ends and desires, to 
freshen in us the conception of the inspiration 
that we may draw from them, and to increase 
our desire for mutual justice and for sympathy. 
One's right to individualism, one's need for 
the proper kind of individualism, must not be 
forgotten. Possessing, as Miss Norsworthy did, 
the power to waive herself and become at one- 
ness with the person for the moment command- 
ing her, to believe that she effaced herself would 
be easy. She did not. Merged as she was in a 
world of intensely demanding social interests, 
she yet preserved her full freedom; loyal as she 
was to her friends, seemingly great as was her 
need for them, none the less she lived in true 
and independent reliance on her Source of In- 
spiration and Its leading. In the fealty she ren- 
dered to the altars where worshipping she drew 
her nameless strength, she asked no one's coun- 
sel, was moved by no one's opinion. That a life 
may be outwardly devoted to scientific profes- 


sional ends, and inwardly to beautiful harmony 
with exalted spiritual aims she daily proved. 
Her individualism showed itself also in minor 
ways. Solitude as well as society appealed to 
her. She rejoiced in being alone, small chance 
though she ever had to exercise the enjoyment. 
At holiday times she liked to go to seaside or 
mountains with a long-known friend whom she 
could treat as she might a book, find pleasure 
in or ignore at will. She could "lie fallow" all 
day long; stretched at full length on the sands, 
or in the shade, for hours she would revel in the 
unresting waters, or the beauty of a quiet world. 
At such times she would seek unfrequented 
places where she might be alone, and in un- 
disturbed quiet store up the energy to be spent 
so extravagantly later. Individualistic was her 
attitude of readiness for the call of the new 
moment. "I keep myself obedient and ready," 
says La Farge. Is it not the expectant prayer 
of every true artist? For artist she truly w:as, 
one who wrought spiritual ends from material 
things. She felt that each hour was distinc- 
tively full of its own earnest, its own right to 
be served, and one should hold himself open, 
"obedient and ready" for its claim. It was 


largely this attitude which enabled her to give 
herself whole-heartedly to one person and one 
thing at a time. A pathetic incident of the last 
hours of her life bore testimony to this desire. 
In one of the flashes of consciousness that came, 
she asked, "Where am I, and what has hap- 
pened?" On being reassured, she said con- 
tendedly, "Oh, yes, I remember. All right; now 
I am ready for the next thing." Strange it is, 
bearing in mind her sensitivity and nervous- 
ness, — that fact already noted, — that where 
people were concerned, she was never hurried. 
"There is always time enough," she said; and 
she would either find it or make it. One way 
she compassed this end was in being "before- 
handed." She planned each day, and far ahead. 
Believing in ample margins, she did not "run 
near the edge" of anything. Her well-thought- 
out plans were often upset, for she dealt with 
too many unexpected people and situations for 
them not to be; but her adaptability stood her 
in good stead, and she was never lost "to find 
a way." 

One of her firmest beliefs was an unbounding 
faith in the goodness of every human soul, how- 
ever hidden. To seek out this goodness, this 


innate worth, and bring it to the light that 
it may react on other lives and in its turn be 
re-inspired by them is of course the essence of 
every lofty religion. Without escape, this aim 
imposes on the individual who follows it a will- 
ingness for self-sacrifice, and not willingness 
alone, but impelling desire. So strong was this 
desire in Miss Norsworthy that it was often said 
that she seemed anxious to be consumed, so 
untiringly did she sacrifice herself to meet the 
demands of service as she saw it. Her passion 
for people had its roots in the wish to seek out 
the worth of the individual soul, "to sustain it, 
and be sustained by it." The poet says, "Pub- 
lish my name and hang up my picture as that 
of the tenderest lover." Such was she, in all 
truth. Month in, month out, year in, year out, 
she poured forth her great love for her kind. 
Whatever of dismay, or perplexity or worry; 
whatever of doubt or wish or plan; whatever of 
pleasure or promise or anticipation came to the 
thousands in her busy world, all must be taken 
to her for counsel, for sharing, for inspiration. 
She smoothed out tangles ; she brought hope and 
courage and resolution. The compelling force 
of her responsiveness and sympathy was "mys- 


tic, wonderful." People found themselves speak- 
ing freely to her of matters they scarcely dared 
think of; they brought her personal concerns 
of the most intimate nature. Whatsoever was 
in her of counsel, of devoted interest, of the 
sense of caring, of human nearness, was lav- 
ished on them. Time for her own recreation 
passed; time for eating passed; time for rest 
passed; all were unnoticed by her when these 
claims came. Hour after hour she stood at 
"attention." Her desires mattered not; her 
weariness mattered not; her physical sacrifice 
mattered not. Indeed she never thought of her- 
self at all. People, in her mind, alone mattered. 
Such a response was the only one with which 
she met the violent remonstrances from her 
family and close friends, when dinner-time -jyould 
pass, the evening would pass, and she had not 
come in from her office. Little did the indi- 
vidual who yielded to the wonder of her sym- 
pathy know how many appeals like his she met 
and answered during the day. Of weariness or 
impatience she gave no sign. Possibly she was 
conscious of neither. Expending to the last 
ounce of her strength and time, Miss Nors- 
worthy stood a devoted follower of One who 


served "unto the least." She gave freely, fully, 
fairly, finally, gave without stint and without 
price. Generous? Sympathetic? One can but 
wish for other words to express the wealth of 
her giving, — unhesitating, unquestioning, un- 
restrained. A primal instinct this prodigality 
has already been called. She had to give; her 
nature demanded it. Surely the world is richer 
for the knowledge that its bounds could com- 
pass one so free from all the laws of advantage 
and of self. There is a freer breath, a fresher 
belief that 

"God's in His heaven 
All's right with the world." 

It is not hard to imagine what the attitude 
of a personality like Miss Norsworthy's would 
be towards friendship. Believing that it, too, 
is subject to the laws of evolution, she thought 
that it grows or decays as the soul goes forward 
or lags behind. To enjoy her friendship was to 
be educated in what has been called "the great- 
est art in life." Those favored ones whom she 
had admitted to the claim were never far from 
her thoughts ; she needed to share their lives, to 
share hers with them. Their misfortunes, their 
joys were hers. The lavishness of her nature 


was nowhere shown more strikingly than in the 
thousand ways she found to give of her thoughts 
and self to her friends. The utmost of hers was 

It is remarkable that Miss Norsworthy could 
keep her generous faith in human nature. She 
came into intimate association with so large a 
variety of people. The number of students at 
Teachers College who applied to her for finan- 
cial help is unbelievable. This one from China 
had not received his remittance on which to 
get home, the end of the year approached, and 
the exigencies of the high cost of living in New 
York appalled; that one had laid plans for such 
an income for this month of the year and it 
had failed for these and these reasons, — could 
Miss Norsworthy help.? Miss Norsworthy al- 
ways could. There is no instance known where 
such an appeal was made to her in vain. It is 
not necessary to say most of these unrecorded 
loans were repaid; but some of them were not. 
She could find justification for forgetfulness of 
them, when she was twitted by the one or two 
who found out, accidentally, about a few of 
these beneficences. It may be questioned if 
this justification be friendship, but surely it is 


in the larger sense an optimistic loyalty to belief 
in the faith and well-meaning of people in gen- 
eral, and is not this the true attitude of a friend ? 
Her recognition of mastery in any field was 
instantaneous, and she cherished a chance to 
come in touch with an "epoch-making thinker" 
whose fresh initiative could broaden her outlook. 
In inspiration of this kind she found rare de- 
light. One of the never-failing sources of her 
life was the stimulus from such a master-mind 
with which she came in almost daily contact. 
For the gratitude she owed that leader and 
thinker she felt unable to find words. With her 
equals there was the freedom of intercourse 
wherein she found much comfort and help. 
She invariably liked to "talk things over" with 
friends, sometimes to clear her own ideas, again 
to get new ones. Her ability to see things in 
the large, added to her excellent judgment, made 
her a person valuable for others to seek for con- 
ference. To those in inferior posts she was very 
gracious without being the least patronizing. 
Repeatedly during her last illness an unknown 
woman, poorly clad, appeared at the door of 
the apartment to ask, "How is Miss Nors- 
worthy?" and in answer to a request for her 


name, said "She would not know me, nor my 
name. She was good to me, and I want to know 
how she is." Another like instance is told of a 
woman wandering about the halls of Teachers 
College, seeking help to raise a subscription 
fund to cure Miss Norsworthy according to an 
advertisement she had found. 

Miss Norsworthy's attitude towards her own 
achievements has been already spoken of. She 
greatly feared the retardation of complacence, 
feeling it to be one of the peculiar dangers of 
the individual after the flush of youth's gener- 
ous enthusiasms has passed.- Dreading self- 
gratulation, or any approach to aggrandizement, 
she was a person difficult to tell pleasant things 
about herself. Her manner of cutting off all such 
expressions bordered on abruptness. If the strug- 
gle only avails, one's successes are not to be kept 
in the foreground, lest one find it easy to dwell 
upon them and grow satisfied. To plume one's 
self in the least degree, even secretly, on what- 
ever he may have done is deadly, since it is vain 
to try to hide inward thoughts. "As a man 
thinketh in his heart, so he is." The one way 
to seem free from weakness, such as vanity for 
instance, is to be free from it in one's inmost 


thoughts. Habits of thoughts no less than of 
action are character. All pretense is vain, 
for the inward always becomes the outward. 
Character manifests itself indirectly as well as 
directly, therefore let no man dare hope to pro- 
fess one thing and live another. The actual 
achievement may seem squalid, or splendid; 
back of it is the transfiguration, attained in 
terms of the animating ideal, and the atten- 
dant effort imposed by it. This belief in the 
virtue of the struggle was the mainspring of 
her optimism. Regret or remorse had no place 
in her scheme of things; there is no time for 
either, she held, because the one sensible thing 
to do is to set about a new venture or a fresh 
emprise with the old. The nearest approach she 
ever made to pessimism came when there had 
been a crash under worked-for hopes or hu- 
man expectations; she would give a funny, 
deprecating little chuckle, and say, "Things 
are queer"; and that ended it. "Faith and 
Utopias," says William James, " are the noblest 
exercise of human reason, and no one with a 
spark of reason in him will sit down fatalisti- 
cally before the croaker's picture." In her prac- 
tical good sense no less than in her belief in the 


potency of the struggle in and for itself can be 
found cause for Miss Norsworthy's unwilling- 
ness to "sit down fatalistically" before any- 
thing. If one would but strive to-day in "the 
effulgence of the universal Reason" with all his 
will and the ideals of his soul, to-morrow must 
bring its bright morning of a greater day. Be- 
cause life is progression; because each one is ade- 
quate to the task to which he has been called 
by the Spirit of the world; because nothing can 
harm save unfaith and irresolution; because the 
smallest act lays hold on the Infinite, let us heed 
only the Voices that bid us press on to the ever- 
widening field, the ever-broadening opportun- 
ity, the ever-greater service. 

Her small faith in formulas extended over 
rules and creeds. The spirit is an entity too 
sacred, its freedom too necessary, to attempt to 
bind it by formulation. Arouse the soul to a 
realization of the vast need for service and con- 
secration; let it once glimpse the spiritual signif- 
icance of life, to be attained through intellect 
and will and ideals, then no puny circumstance 
can restrain it, no "shades of the prison house" 
frighten from its high destiny. For this highest 
and best, the spirit needs only love and conse- 


cration. All things else come as step by step 
the pathway leads always into broader and 
more fruitful fields. 

Enough has been said to demonstrate how 
truly was idealism the keynote of all Miss Nors- 
worthy's being. The sacred altars of her life 
had heaped upon them flames of devotion and 
sacrifice that lighted paths for many others. 
To learn all one can, to do all one can, to love 
all one can, — that is true service, man at his 
highest. Only as the individual is willing to 
serve for others and with them, without fear 
or unfaith, can he hope to open up bigger and 
better standing-ground for himself and them. 
To struggle endlessly, even though one may be 
consumed; to be willing never to arrive; to 
scorn all expedience; to reduce to-day's prob- 
lem to a rational solution, never minding to- 
morrow's; to learn the Christ-ideal and live it: 
these ideals she lived day by day. She was a 
mystic, one of those seers that in every age and 
clime have possessed seeing and understanding 

Lacking the too-usual incapacity of the mystic 
for exact thought, possibly because of scien- 
tific training that demanded exactitude, yet 


she had all the mystic's faculty of intuition, of 
perception of human relations and of spiritual 
values. She touched the sounding "thread of 
Beauty that runs through all and doth all 
unite" with the exalted hope that the music 
there awakened should stir slumbering lives 
as a bugle call to duty. She had learned stand- 
ards of the beautiful, the enduring, the worth- 
while, all hidden from most of us earth-bound 
creatures, and she found her life-joy in follow- 
ing them. 

Death itself was in her valuation truly "the 
great Adventure." It meant only the narrow 
door through which we pass to the Larger Life 
where a greater opportunity is given us to know 
and to do and to love. Freed from all the ham- 
pering limitations of the physical, from the 
dread wrench of pain, from the bitterness of 
disappointment or the gloom of defeat, the soul 
is allowed to work out fully what it did here 
only feebly. Browning, whom she well loved, 
has best expressed it for her: 

"What was, shall live as before; 
The evil is null, is naught, is silence implying sound; 
What was good, shall be good, with, for evil, so much good more; 
On the earth the broken arcs; in the heaven a perfect round." 



Because of their intimate note, peculiarly 
valuable and vital to those persons to whom 
they were written, bits of but few of Miss Nors- 
worthy's letters can be published. Oftenest the 
answers to appeals for her sympathy or en- 
couragement, her letters are either full of details 
uninteresting save to her and the one whose 
need she was answering, or else too minutely 
personal to be given to other eyes. The rare 
tact, or sympathy, or responsiveness, — call 
it by what word one may, the quality is still 
missed, — that she gave with such whole- 
heartedness directly at first hands, she gave 
indirectly through her written words. Her let- 
ters were to the one person addressed, and no 
other. She entered into his concerns, his 
thoughts, his hopes, to the exclusion of all else, 
as she did talking to him face to face; to him 
their value was great, because they voiced his 
interests, but they are not for general read- 


ing. An unbelievably large number have been 
searched to yield the fragments given here. She 
always wrote her letters in long hand, using a 
secretary only for professional matters. Where 
she found time for writing the many that she 
did write is a question. They must have been 
wedged into "corner minutes" stolen from 
what should have been times for recreation or 
sleep. These extracts are what the title of the 
chapter indicates, bits of letters, chosen be- 
cause they are characteristic, as well as because 
they are humanly precious. In them will be 
found no stilted effort, no attempt at effect, 
only the "simple language of the heart." The 
letters of the early years which might have been 
helpful in better tracing her development were 
unfortunately long since destroyed; the excerpts 
given are from letters of the last dozen years. 
All possible references to identity and the dates 
have been removed so that they might be 
wholly impersonal. No effort at coherence has 
been attempted, and no comments made. The 
fragments speak, each with its own message, 
full of the ardent sympathy and the elevated 
character of the woman who wrote them. 


My letters these days are all notes written 
in the midst of things, and I miss the time to 
write, but even so I feel that I must not wait 
for a better time to send an answer to yours 
which came yesterday. I am sorry for the dis- 
appointment in your new place, the more be- 
cause I know how you had looked forward to 
it as an advancement. But are n't you glad 
to be in a post where so much hard work is to 
be done? It is a tremendously important posi- 
tion, with all sorts of possibilities to work out, 
and may I venture to say that your time and 
strength are but lessened either by looking 
back with regret, or forward with dismay? 
Don't waste time in regretting. You may not 
have got shaken down in your new place yet, 
but you have much to give. It is hard for any 
of us to find his place in new surroundings, but 
the fun of making the new place our place! 

Let me tell you, if I may without trespassing, 
that you do hide your scars pretty well, and 
what a fine thing that is for anybody to be able 
to do. Stoicism has its appeal for all of us I 
suppose, easy though it may be to carry it too 


far. If we can hide the scar, and quite forget 
the wound that caused it, — maybe are strength- 
ened indeed by the pain of it, — I should say 
that is a thing to be proud of, and grateful for. 
I remember as a child it used to be a game of 
contest with us to try our physical endurance 
and compare our powers with our playmates' 
by seeing who could longest endure holding out 
his extended arm. It has grown to typify a big 
thing to me. So I should say you can "hold out 
your arm" marvelously well! 

College is over for this year, and because 
my head has been feeling the end of things, I 
am not sorry that it is. You should see how I 
have been fixing my office over for next year. 
I have a filing cabinet for my papers and exam, 
books, and a new arrangement for my books. 
I am planning to give a certain hour next year 
to library work, and magazines and reviews, — 
and another certain time for my study. If I 
can stick better by my program, I shall find 
more time for people, for that I must have, 
despite your merciless words about the way I 
"over-tax" myself. I am convinced my work 


lies through personal touch with people; not 
all of it, perhaps not the most important part, 
but nevertheless a part. I don't think you should 
scold so hard. I know that my life must be 
spent in service, and I am earnestly hoping for 
vision to tell me which service is most worth 
while. I don't dare distinguish, because I don't 
know, therefore I must give as fully and freely 
as I can when the demands come. All sorts of 
people, all sorts of service, yes, but one thing 
I do know is that to lose one's life is the only 
hope for each of us, and the one way to lose it 
is in the lives of others. 

I am glad that your trip is proving such an 
enjoyable one. Ireland must be fascinating! 
We did not go into Ireland at all, but are re- 
serving that pleasure for our next trip. Is n't 
Oxford wonderful.'' and the Rhine, aiid Heidel- 
berg.^ It is the age of all those places that gives 
them much of their power of attraction, and 
that of course means their numerous associa- 

Our summer is quite the opposite of yours 
in that we are lost to the world and people 


among the mountains of New Hampshire. This 
farm is prettily situated, with mountains on 
all sides. Our little shack is far enough from 
the farmhouse to give us all the privacy we 
want, and yet near enough for us not to feel 
lonely. It is on the edge of a large pinewoods, 
facing the mountains. We sit on the little 
porch and watch the moon rise over the moun- 
tain-tops, or the lightning play along their sum- 
mits, and we grow silent with the beauty of it 
all. Our hammocks are swung in the nearby 
woods. We had intended having them on the 
porch, but the woods proved too attractive, 
and now they are under the tall fragrant pines. 
I am finding sleeping out of doors even more 
enjoyable than I anticipated. To watch the 
silver mystery of the setting moon, or the 
golden glory of the dawn, or just the quiet radi- 
ance of the myriad stars, — all is a joy. All day 
long we spend in the woods, with blankets and 
pillows, sewing, or books, or writing material. 
The rest and peace and fragrance of it is enter- 
ing my very soul. Surely health and strength 
must come from such a summer. 


Don't bother about the changes you find 
there after your long absence, or maybe things 
found that you wish had changed, but you find 
still the same. You seem to resent change al- 
ways, and yet it is in you as well as in others, 
and you would not have it different I know. 
Any growth must mean change, and more room, 
and a bigger outlook! Personal irritation is so 
slight a thing if along with it comes the chance 
to work, if only the chance to work from under 
the cause of the irritation. You are not easily 
overcome. Who knows but your "stately man- 
sions" are already a-building, that your lower 
vaulted past is already being shut from out 
your view by just these changes you so cry out 

Indeed I do rejoice with you over your suc- 
cessful year, for successful is any year when 
you can feel you have come closer to a single 
life that needs you. None of us can dare let 
stand any wall that seems to bar us from others 
who can sustain us, or whom we can sustain. 
And I know, too, that the very success this 
year has brought you must deepen your regret. 


or rather sorrow is the better word, for having 
accepted a call to such distant fields. Your 
grief at leaving your home for so long, and all 
the associations you so love there is but nat- 
ural. I don't feel so bad though for either you 
or your sister. She is married, and after all, 
that must count a lot, for that is the biggest 
thing, and for you, — why I have so much faith 
in your capacity and ability I feel that you will 
find excellent adaptation anywhere, however 
foreign the field may be to what you have 
hitherto known. 

As I write I am sitting on a stone, with my 
back against a stone fence, under a great maple 
tree. In the immediate foreground is a rolling 
field covered with apple trees artistically old, 
and nodding buttercups and paint-brush. Be- 
yond are the mountains, three tiers of them, 
covered with their mystery-full blue haze. 
A robin, drunk with the joy of his summer of 
life, too, has been gaily telling us all morning 
what is in his heart. The music of it all rings 
through my days, and the one possible worry is 
to decide which of it I love best. There is the 


purple-blue of the mountains, — the silvery 
sheen of giant maples, the ever-changing light 
and shade of shifting clouds, the tall straight 
pines with their blue-black tops, — the sough 
of the wind through them, the fragrance of 
the balsam smell, with nobody but me and 
the robin to tell about it. I wonder if I can 
stick out trying to; it is not a morning to write 
letters, but just to feel. 

I brought numbers of books up here to the 
woods with me, — some frivolous, some serious, 
a half dozen to be reviewed for the " Record," 
a paper for the National Congress of Mothers, 
two addresses, one each for the North Carolina 
and Alabama Teachers' Associations, and lots 
of sewing. When, pray, do you fancy I shall 
find time to do any of that sort of thing with 
the Heart of the Wild calling to me? The city 
is the place to work in, not here where to think, 
or to attempt any sort of work, seems a protest 
against Nature and the indolence of summer. 

"* I am writing in the woods, all about me sweet- 


fern, knee high, the flecking light-and-shadow 
patches of bright sunshine over us, and birds 
calling to their mates in the trees above. I like 
it! Yesterday we were caught in a thunder- 
storm and I had such a good time. The feel of 
the rain beating in my face, the sound of it 
on the leaves made me glad to be alive. We 
brought home as booty from our wet tramp 
two branches of flaming, riotous-red maple 
leaves, and have fastened them to the front 
piazza where they shine out against the brown 
of the bark finish, advance colors of autumn's 
cohorts. Every day that passes fills me with a 
great longing to stretch out my play-time here 
where there is so much to joy in. 

It is the time of day I love best, the twilight, 
maybe because it has in it the minor notes, the 
slow-dying sunset that mirrors floating pink 
clouds in the bosom of the lake, the drowsy 
good-night calling of the birds, the far-away 
sounds of cow-bells. Somebody once said to 
me that so much of life is in the minor key that 
most people instinctively turn away from the 
minor notes in nature, but I don't believe it. 


There is so much peace and quiet and comfort. 
It suggests the Valley of Silence. 

I have been living with Browning all summer. 
It is such a joy to go over and over his things 
that I love. Sometime will you read "Saul" 
to me again? I like that one best aloud. And 
this reminds me of a question you ask in a re- 
cent letter that I think I did not answer, — if 
I had ever tried to find self-expression in poetry. 
Odd! While you must have been writing, that 
very topic was being discussed with us here. 
I was asked what above all else I'd choose to 
be, and I said a poet, and was promptly laughed 
at for my frankness. I have never tried it, but 
above all else I would like to have the gift to 
express the inner Spirit of Life and Beauty, and 
that seems possible only in poetry. It is n't 
strange that I have kept this side of me so well 
hidden, after all. It is possibly true, what you 
say, that few people know it is there, but from 
early childhood up, I have been schooled to 
hide it. Mother has no patience with poetry, 
most of it, or sentiment, or any sort of child- 
ishness, as I have told you before, and I have 


always been ashamed of what I knew was in- 
side, and have kept it under lock and key. And 
I am glad I have. 

^ What you write me of deeply concerns 

me. Her struggles always tear my heart. I 
wrote her at once on receipt of your letter and 
hope she will tell me freely how things are. Is 
it hopeless, as you say.? I don't believe it! If 
she would only take the right attitude and hold 
it, but it seems she has n't so far found the way. 
I believe she can and will. You know how 
firmly I believe in absolute frankness. Well, one 
trouble lies there and the other cause of her 
failures seems to be pride. Between us, maybe 
we can help. I am so glad you wrote me, and 
surely the two of us can do something. 

Certainly I know what you are going through. 
No one in all the world who really loves his 
ideals enough to stand by them could fail to 
know. It is the common fate of us all some- 
time or other to have his deepest ideals scoffed 
at, or maybe not that, but held lightly, and have 


people say, "Yes, oh, yes, of course," and look 
at you as if you were rather to be pitied, and 
then change the subject. So few understand, 
and yet it must be so. A sense of values comes 
to any of us only through specialized training, 
in the light of a desired end. The greatest of all 
art creations are but heaps of paint on canvas, 
or concatenated sounds, entirely void of all 
meaning unless one has within him a culti- 
vated sense that attaches right values. This is 
true in the spiritual as well as the artistic world. 
You quoted to me once something about its 
being a phantasy of Plato's that understanding 
souls were once "parts of the same star"; there 
is something in the idea that there must be far- 
reaching spiritual kinship before there can be 
perfect understanding. But why fret when you 
seem to miss it? People are as difficult to each 
of us to understand and we fail them just as you 
complain of being failed. When these thoughts 
come to me, I begin to look askance at my own 

"Weigher of words" you call me. Yes, I 
plead guilty to the charge, if charge of guilt it 


is. It is only fair; if others judge as I do, and 
believe exactly what is said, then it is necessary 
to weigh words. Things get awry if a body can't 
take on simple faith, or give in simple faith, 
the coin of conversation, even its small change. 
Once juggling begins, it can never be told what 
is spurious and what is n't. Why not everybody 
"weigh words".? 

After your letter asking me to see to find 

out if there was anything possible to be done, 
I made a desperate effort to do so, and finally 
succeeded. You say I must be frank as to what 
I think of her present mental attitude. I don't 
like to! But you are a friend of longer and more 
intimate standing than I, so I suppose it is but 
right I should say this to you, in the hope you 
may find some way to help her next year. You 
already know as much as I do as to how she 
has let herself brood and grow pessimistic, only 
/ don't believe she can't help it! All I say to 
her falls on deaf ears. I feel as though I was 
beating my head against a stone wall. She plays 
with her emotions, and sometimes I think poses 
for sympathy. You have known her so much 


longer than I, and know what an odd mixture 
of good and evil, how complex and contradic- 
tory she is, and yet, that is but saying she is 
human. You will see from the whole tone of 
my letter than I am impatient with her, and 
st> I am. My fear always is lest too much sym- 
pathy may weaken the recipient, and that is 
very far from being any sort of help. To know 
how to give, and keep one's self out of it! Mean- 
time, we two will keep pegging away and see 
what the "eternal dropping" can accomplish. 

To-day is my birthday, and a very happy 
one it has been. My friends are so good to me, 
and it has power "to make my heart rejoice." 
With one of my greetings to-day came this — 
don't you like it.'' 

" Since to us all the years must come. 
May yours fall soft and slow, 
As shaken by a bee's low hum 
The rose-leaves waver, sweetly dumb, 
Down to their mates below." 

Somehow I don't mind birthdays; cer-tainly 
I could not if all are happy as this one. So 
much of life is a foretaste of what is to come. 
There is so much added joy each year to be glad 


for, the gift of friendship, and the faith in hu- 
man hearts, and all the things that spur us on, 
for which there are no names. The path stretches 
through the years shining and bright, not all 
smooth of course I know, but all worth while, 
and I'm glad the end is hidden. 

I am very happy to-day. Something hap- 
pened yesterday to heap up the Joy-fire in my 
heart, and the warmth has lasted all through 
the hours since. I feel that I must go out and 
live and serve in some measure worthy of this 
great wonderful, Shining Real Thing we call 
Life. No, I shan't tell you what it is; — you 
might smile and call me an "enthusiastic child" 
in that superior way of yours, but were you 
here, I should tell you all about it and so out- 
talk you that you would have to agree with me 
that the Happening is all I am trying to tell 
you it is! 

^ I have just had such a glorious week-end in 
the country with dear Miss Dodge. I came 
back loaded down with flowers and my office 


is full of them as I write. I foun,d some four- 
leaf clovers ! Are you enough of a child to know 
what I felt over them ? If you will say yes, you 
shall have one of the very ones I found. It was 
such fun to get down in the grass, close to old 
Earth and with my nose just above the fresh 
greenness, search out the little "luck blossoms." 
Such a wealth of blooms, too. I had some lemon 
verbena to wear with the clovers, and they 
kept me intoxicated the rest of my visit. 

. To-day frightened me by coming into 

my class and staying all of ten minutes. It's 
an awful feeling. I don't know for a second 
whether I shall finish my next sentence or not. 
I don't see why he's following me up so closely 
this year. Those graduate classes overwhelm 
me, anyway. I wish I could creep into some 
little backwoods village and be lost so I would 
n't have to teach graduate classes with men 
in them that don't want to be taught by a 
woman, and on top of it, to have to be visited! 
I wish I could be a rural school teacher in the 
deepest of the Wilds for just a bit of a time! 
But don't you worry about me. You know how 


my foolish natural shrinking seizes me full some- 


You must feel the loss of your horse keenly. 
Animals do make a place for themselves, don't 
they? I know you will feel the hurt, for you 
have talked too much about him for me not to 
know how you regarded him " almost a member 
of the family." I envy your having had a horse, 
for I have always longed for one. "When my 
ship comes in" though, I shall consider the 
wisdom of a "Fordette" instead. Can't you 
imagine me a speed-demon ? I do love to go fast 
in a car, and the temptation would be very 
great! Maybe that is one of the things that 
keeps my ship so far out at sea. 

My work is heavy. Preparation takes so 
much time, and office work goes on just the 
same. I meet four hundred and eighty different 
students every week, and I am not learning to 
hitch up their names and faces fast enough. The 
heavy work annoys me only because it fills up 
my time beyond what I could wish. Easy of 


access I must be, for people do not readily seek 
another who is already occupied with other 
things. To do what there is to do and not be- 
come drowned in details that do not matter; 
to "register" for what seems the bigger part, 
— that is what I must get my proper perspec- 
tive for. The first of the year is always hard, 
so be patient with my complaints till I can find 
my way through the Mass of Demands. 

Mother is having such a fine time at Asbury. 
Two ladies have adopted her and she is thor- 
oughly enjoying it. One of them is a rampant 
"militant," and they are having a fine time 
arguing. You can fancy mother, she always 
enjoys meeting new people so much, and is al- 
ways interesting and interested. I wish I had 
more of that in me, but then — you know 
Mother, fine and true and loyal somebody that 
she is! 

The North Carolina teachers want me to take 
charge of their four meetings, lead the discus- 
sions and give one address before the General 


Session. I said I would do it, though I don't 
exactly know what is expected of me. They 
asked about compensation, and as I had no idea 

■(vhat it should be, I wrote Professor and 

guess what he said in reply.? Fifty dollars a day 
and expenses! Of course I shall tell them no 
such thing, but shall leave it entirely with them. 
This is the third State Teachers' Association 
I shall have to do this year. I enjoy meeting 
old T. C. people at them, but the trips are 
pretty tiresome. 

I am already getting frightened over that 
Teachers College dinner at the Superintendents' 
meeting. I am afraid that there will be a num- 
ber of our faculty women to go down; Phila- 
delphia is more easily accessible than so many 
of the meeting-places. I invariably get stirred 
up over those dinners, silly though I know it is 
in me. There is always a chance they may not 
be a success. My, but I draw a free breath once 
they are done with! I wonder if I shall ever 
learn to do that sort of thing easily? Those 
Superintendents' meetings are pleasant enough 
after the dinners are oflF my hands, because it 
is so much fun to see so many old students that 
I have no chance to run upon elsewhere. I have 


the nicest scheme planned for a good time; how 
much will you give me to know what it is? 
Maybe you will be part of it. 

You cannot guess what I have been about 
this glorious July morning. Making Christmas 
presents. The summer time is the only time I 
have to sew, and it is a pleasure to be about it. 
If one of them should stray your way, you must 
not examine my stitches, for I remember what 
beautiful ones you make, and mine are n't 
specially creditable to Mother's training. There 
is too much to see and hear in these creature- 
haunted woods to be tied down in one's thought 
to sewing, even when a Christmas present is 
involved. To think of Christmas time and plan 
for it though is always one of the greatest hap- 
pinesses the vacation days hold for me, because 
there is time to think out things that a body 
never has when the season is with us. 

How do you like this "Workaday Creed"? 

"The Earth, my Mother; 
Mankind, my Brother; 
Thou, God, my Father; 
Dear Life, my Lover; 

My works, my Children. ' '' 

Sleep and Amen." 


I love Saturday and Sunday. To-day I have 
had such a good lazy time reading magazines, and 
Mrs. Jameson's "Characteristics of Women." 
She is a keen analyst and I enjoy her though 
I do not always agree with what she says. I 
always wish I knew my Shakespeare better. If 
I did, I've an idea Mrs. Jameson and I might 
agree even less. You will like this little bit from 
Dr. van Dyke I came on as much as I do: 

"Self is the only power that can ever bind the soul, 
Love is the only angel that can bid the gates unroll; 
And when he comes to call thee, arise and follow fast. 
His way may lie through darkness, but it leads to light at last." 

Don't think any assurance of friendship could 
ever be commonplace or unnecessary. All of 
us want them, and some things, you know, can 
never grow old. Friendship is one of the old- 
new things, part of the Beauty echoing in bird- 
songs, and flowers, and music, and the stillness 
of the woods, the majesty of the stars, and all 
that Vast World that is forever nameless. 
Surely you do not think any voicing of that can 
be unnecessary.? 


Don't worry, whatever happens, partly be- 
cause it takes it out of you even worse than 
disappointment, partly because it more nearly 
assures what you fear. To give one's self to the 
Right as far as one can see and then quietly let 
go and leave the outcome, — is not that all 
any of us can do? I believe the prospect is far 
better than you think, but at best, you can 
find much to keep up your courage and "muscle" 
with, while waiting. If you just will put aside 
worry and fear I shall be very grateful. Ab- 
solute frankness and candor is the salvation. 
Be comforted; there is much Help and much 

The years ahead are so bright with hope. My 
heart sings "behind its wall of sense" on this 
New Year's Day, and part of its song is a greet- 
ing for you. How thankless we both are, you 
and I, ever to wail when things go wrong. I 
know that I am, for so much more than life 
gives to most people has come to me. I don't 
see this morning how things can ever look the 
least gray-toned again. Do you know a little 
poem ending thus."" 


"0 faint of heart! storm-beaten, this rain will gleam to-morrow, 
Flame within the columbine, and jewel on the thorn. 
Heaven in the forget-me-not; though sorrow now be sorrow, 
Yet sorrow shall be beauty in the magic of the morn." 

My trip all day has been such a lovely one. 
At first the country was gently rolling, great 
daisy fields of sweeping white, with here and 
there women and children in sunbonnets, pick- 
ing wild strawberries. Then came patches of 
woodland, with glimpses of mountain laurel in 
cool-green depths, rambling roads, disappear- 
ing through the trees, that made me long for a 
horse and good company to follow them; a little 
stream running beside the railroad is crossed 
and re-crossed and crossed again, as we climb 
up and up into the mountains to Horse-Shoe 
Curve, built on the side of one mountain and 
back in the side of the opposite one. Below, 
the great reservoir with turquoise blue-green 
water and all around hills, hills. The golden 
brown of the mountain streams sends back the 
flashing sunset as I write. Looking back, the 
track is a long brown gash in the darkening 
green hill-sides, then we go through a tunnel and 
out on the other side into the smoke of a busy 


factory town. It has been worth the long tire^ 
some trip to have these pictures spread before 
me all day. 

Pride causes so many of our failures. I can- 
not tell you how earnestly I wish it were in me 
to say some word of help or comfort. Forget 
my foolish words about the sentimentalist. 
You would not have understood them as you 
did had I said them and not written them. 'But 
you know what I mean ! The one thing for any 
of us to strive for is ability to find and live the 
great and beautiful truth of God, to "surrender 
to the Infinite and follow God's path and God's 
truth." What matters the price if one gets his 
desired value.? Whatever is of the Eternal can 
have no price not worth paying gladly, many 
times over. 

Yes, you have heard correctly about the offer 
of the deanship of the Women's School at the 
Carnegie Technical Institute. The offer has 
unsettled me for days, nor am I quite sure yet 
what I should do. It appears to be such a 


tremendous opportunity for service. And the 
opportunity to "make a name" seems almost 
unlimited. But the great question I have faced 
is if it is a larger'one for me. You know admin- 
istrative work appeals to me very little, and I 
somehow feel that I belong in the classroom 
rather than in an ofHce. My problem of deci- 
sion was not lessened by the fact that mother 
wanted me to go, and some of my best friends, 
men here on the T.C. Staff also advised it. But 
I am not going! Wait till I tell you why before 
you think I have decided too quickly, and 
maybe you will agree with me. — First, the 
schools, because of the location of Pittsburgh, 
must remain largely local in influence; second, 
administrative work is physically so wearing, 
I doubt the ability of my nerves to stand it. 
The life of service of administration officers in 
the colleges of the United States is under twelve 
years — what would mine be? Though the 
field may be broader, a fact that I doubt, yet 
I am not measuring up to what is here to be 
done; why should I seek a broader field wheii 
I am not adequately filling this one? The feel- 
ing that I belong here is so strong that I must 
abide by it; and it comes back and back. I just 


can't get away from It. If I am meant to do that 
kind of work, He will send other openings. 
Teaching Is in every way much bigger than ad- 
ministrative work; one comes in- so much closer 
touch with the reality in human creatures 
either through intellect or heart. Christ showed 
the way to do it, through personal human con- 
tact. So many people get lost in the material 
and humanly human in a big university, that 
the opportunity to hold up spiritual ideals is far 
beyond what my poor little strength and vision 
can cope with, — and yet I feel that my post 
is here and I must stand by it. 

I am sorry it was a disappointment to you to 
know I had refused the offer of a deanship at 
the Carnegie Schools. Many of my friends here 
agree with you, — think I have "missed my 
chance." There is no question It is a big post, 
with enormous opportunities, and a large sal- 
ary, but I finally decided to stay right here. 
The appreciation that has come to me because 
of that decision has made me ashamed, when 
what I do falls so far short of what I see! But 
I believe I did right in my negative. The physi- 


cal tax would have been overwhelming, and 
you know my great desire to do the work — all 
of it — given me to do. The desire for service 
over-tops the physical pain and the going with- 
out, if that had to be, but I must have the inner 
consciousness of doing things that satisfy, and 
that I believe I will more nearly have here at 
Teachers College. I know that you would wish 
me to do the right as I see it. 
Anyhow — the die is cast! 

The feeling that I have been so stupid as to 
hurt any one sends my peace of mind to the 
four winds. That sort of thing is inexcusable, 
and I can but be stirred up over it when I know 
that I have been so unmindful as to be guilty 
of it. You say I take these flurries too seriously, 
but that cannot be helped, because I do not 
want to help it. I have heard you say how much 
you preferred to choose ruffled waters rather 
than the dead smoothness of unending calm; 
so why do you mind when I do.? It is the sort 
of thing that one must accept as an inevitable 
price, and we both choose always to pay in full. 


All my life I have been shut from words that 
expressed the actuality of my feelings, so will 
you bear with me for striving for words that 
will express what I want to say? You would, 
could you know how difficult a matter with me 
it is to say just what I wish. My dumbness 
you must attribute to a life-long shyness partly, 
training partly, reserve partly, and finally to 
an uncertainty of words themselves. So, though 
I fear that I shall not make my sympathy clear 
to you, it will not be for any other reason save 
that I cannot find words. . . . We must ham- 
mer out the steel of our Ideal on Life's anvil, 
or the hope of any happiness that is lasting is 
gone. That we are called upon so often to do it 
alone, even denied the hope of human comrade- 
ship that the heart craves, in no wise frees us 
from the obligation. It has been ordained that 
we shall leave the quiet places that soothe and 
with yearning hearts and wondering minds turn 
into the thick press of the surging world where 
all our best is needed to keep our balance and 
steady those near us whose footing Is not sure. 
The Vision is there, — far out; the sky-line lifts, 
recedes; beyond are glimpsed still other heights 
that beckon with beauties not to be denied. In 


the Quest we find joy and peace and abiding 
comfort, for there is something in the human 
heart that is meant to be stilled only in this 
eternal seeking. 

The course of action noted to outsiders may 
look selfish; whatever course brings least anxiety 
and greatest help to those you would serve is 
in the end the unselfish one. No matter how 
much heart-hunger or yearning you may have, 
no matter how you may feel, you know the right 
thing is to do as you are doing. If one must 
truly give and have anything worth the giving, 
he dare not neglect his own life. It must be en- 
riched from the Sources, or it is but froth he has 
to offer to the many. To get in order to give, 
to broaden in order to enrich, to learn in order 
to teach, — that duty is laid on us all. How and 
where to strike the balance, what to do and 
what to leave undone, is hard, I know. But I 
also know that if I am truly desirous of living 
up to all the knowledge that I have, more will 
be given me, and I shall know. No matter how 
things look, the more we seek for real under- 
standing, the more it will come. The tip-toeing 


up to what is beyond, the reaching up for Truth 
and Beauty, the praying to be kept never Satis- 
fied, — is not that the Quest Wonderful for us 

Think of Death as the Great Release. For 
her whose loss you mourn, what a glorious 
awakening! To be freed from all physical limi- 
tations, from all disappointment, from all gloom 
and grief, free to serve in that world beyond, 
to enter into the glory of the spirit of Truth, 
of Light, of Beauty. Think what it must mean 
to be able to accomplish what one wishes, to 
live one's ideals, not in part, but fully. Rejoice 
with your loved and gone-before, not merely 
for her release, but for her new opportunity to 
fulfill the work begun here. I love that line, 
"He giveth His beloved sleep." Sleep here, 
awakening there. Physical laws forever vain to 
bind the spirit, the boundless stretches of the 
Eternal about us! 

I would pour in "the oil and wine of friend- 
ship," so freely if I could. Take comfort. Do 
not let your heart harden, nor allow yourself 
to grit your teeth and go on grimly, shutting 


the door on the sorrow. It is a power that can 
open afresh all the springs of your life, that can 
soften and broaden, that will trumpet your spirit 
anew to the work of your hands and the hopes 
of your heart. You say truly when you say 
these things must be so. Every human soul 
must pass through the deep waters, and it is 
ordained that he shall pass alone. It is then 
the absolute aloneness of the soul comes home. 
Arnold's "Isolation" is So true! I know all this, 
— know that you must pass alone. But God 
sends us human hearts to cheer and sustain, 
though they may not spare. And across the 
tide, itself "too full for sound or foam," I 
await the knowledge of your triumph. 

Let not yourself be upset by any thought of 
my illness. My physical suffering is of no mo- 
ment. It is part of the price I gladly pay. All 
understanding, all sympathy, come through 
pain. My great hope, my opportunity for serv- 
ice has lain in the fact that I have suffered in 
many ways, and I have gladly paid the price, 
and do now. The longing for reality you have 
so often remarked in me is rooted I think. 


in my knowledge of "Pain's familiar hand." 
Through it all, the Real Things have not been 
shut out from me, — 

"If you can foi-cfe yout heart and nerve and sinew 
To serve your term long after they are gone, 
And so hold on when there is ndthing in you — 
Except the Will which says to them, — Hold on!" — 

So there you see just now what I am Striving 
for, and please don't make it harder by letting 
me know you mind for me! Some day maybe 
I shall not have to bother with a physical body 
that hampers and troubles. 

Your note came to cheer me. I am glad you 
are going not "back" but "on." 

" Storm and stress," continual readjustments, 
fresh insight, greater depth, broader interests, 
all are necessary if we are to grow. If we are 
striving for a knowledge of the Infinite, there 
is an everlasting need for growing, but if the 
storm and stress accomplishes nothing, it is 
worse than useless, it is wrong. I am sorry for 
the hurt, but surely you are unfair to yourself. 
You know "Earnest desire prayeth always; 
when ceaseth prayer? When the heart grow- 
eth weary." You are thinking of yourself and 


your hurt too much. Self-reproach is always 
wasteful. We can use the same time doing 
things over, or doing them anew. "Deserv- 
ing" does n't seem to enter at all. These things 
are not blind luck; nothing is. There is purpose 
back of it, and all any of us can do at such times 
is to walk softly and wait. 

Don't let the shut-inness claim you. Life is 
just a big chance to "do a good job" with pro- 
motion awaiting us here and hereafter. The 
spirit is hampered here; but no life can learn 
its lessons of denial and fortitude without the 
spirit's being strengthened, gaining in power 
and fibre, so that the capacity for service is 
greater in the next world. Compensation's law 
"makes up" what seems inequalities and injus- 
tices here. That sounds crude, but you know 
what I mean, and think with me. The great 
crying need of each of us is patience to wait 
for understanding of the pain and trouble in 
the world, and tenderness of love great enough 
to be where pain is and not, be unsettled by 
it. Do you know this? "Prayer is not an act 
of worship merely, the bending of the knee 


on set occasions, and the offering petitions in 
need. It is an attitude of soul, opening the life 
on the Godward side, and keeping free com- 
munication with the worid of spirit." And 
is n't it the best kind of praying to "be still 
and know that I am God" through the great 
wretchedness of seeing one's loved ones suffer .'' 

If human sympathy becomes an end in itself, 
and gets between the soul and higher spiritual 
values, it is a hindrance and no more a help. 
To keep it in the background as a medium of 
transmission of the divine through the human 
is what we have to strive for. I do not see how 
any one who is deeply interested in others can 
help being what you call a "human barometer." 
The pressure of " 16 pounds to the square inch" 
is nothing compared to that put on us by each 
other. It is what you are feeling when you are 
trying to hold steady and "see through." If 
you could but learn to still the restlessness and 
the questioning. It is "like lashing a bruise" 
sometimes, to thread back to find our mistakes 
in order that we may avoid them, but how 
vastly much better that pain is than the anaes- 


thesia of indifference! That you can apply the 
lash to the bruise means the very strength that 
will bring you the joy of victory in the end. 

It is when the human heart throws off the 
limitations of its finite self and stands forth in 
such splendid strength as this you tell me of 
that one draws a full breath and lifts his eyes 
to the "everlasting hills" from which comes 
strength. In the face of what we know as the 
realities, how can we ever be discouraged, or 
careless, or indifferent? We can but "face- 
front," and march forward with surging cour- 
age. In the possibilities and sacrifices of human 
love there are opened such wonderful reaches, 
such far-leading vistas of all-sustaining power 
that we are brought face-to-face afresh with 
the wonder of the Divine Perfection of Love. 
Of course it is only through human love and 
understanding that we can find a possible means 
of interpretation of the Divine, and it is for 
living proofs like this one that we must be most 


There are lines of Matthew Arnold's that 
run something like this: 

"With aching hands and bleeding feet 
We dig and heap, lay stone on stone; 
We bear the burden and the heat 
Of the long day, and wish 't were done: 
Not till the hours of light return, 
All we have built do we discern." 

They have comforted me many times, for 
I am no more patient than you are, waiting 
to see "results." Sometimes when I have 
waited longest, and not always hopefully, 
things have all at once cleared, and though 
sometimes they are different from expectations, 
it is a wonderful experience to see how vastly 
better they often are than we had planned ! I 
am hoping it will work out so for you this time. 
But even so, you feel with me that it is the 
struggle that avails, and you are glad and can 
but be glad that you have thrown yourself so 
whole-heartedly into the effort. 

Your question is a big one; it is the cry of the 
human soul, of every soul. My answer must be 
a personal one; that is what you wanted, is it 


I believe most fully that happiness that is 
abiding, calm, and steady comes only through 
service. All the teachings of philosophy, psy- 
chology, sociology, ethics, point to that answer. 
Consciousness of self as the controlling force 
in the life of an adult induces a morbid un- 
healthfulness of mental life, a restless dissatis- 
faction with life's conditions, a vain, frantic 
striving for that which always eludes, or if 
grasped, could never satisfy. In a child, this 
control of personal motive has a place, but the 
adult is a social being, and the self truly func- 
tions only under social conditions. You ask, 
"Does n't your personal self ever cry aloud?" 
But service is the highest expression of the full 
person, and therefore the personal life in serv- 
ice is being fully satisfied. The selfish motives 
and desires are there with us all, and in order 
to overcome them and reach happiness through 
service, one must have a strong purpose, an 
ideal that is overwhelmingly attractive, and 
a source of inspiration and strength outside 
his own limited capacity. The Christ furnishes 
all three. Devotion to the well-being of others 
in the broadest possible sense was what He 
preached. "He that loseth his life shall save 


it." True, complete happiness comes only 
through following in the path of self-sacrifice 
and social service pointed out by Him. 

How can any one who has in the least sounded 
the depths of human hearts, their power to love 
and suffer, ever doubt God or the Hereafter.'' 
That power is so entirely different from what 
we call the "human," from everything but 
spirit. It is in its essence a longing, a reaching 
out for something never grasped, a going-out, 
a giving-up, and yet forever it bears in it the 
influence of "wine that strengthens, of meat 
that sustains." The firm faith in it, this hidden 
universal strength, is music through all my 
days. It is the force of it that makes me feel 
so strongly the need for us to reach out to the 
Source of all that we may lay firmer hold on the 
Infinite, may strive more for the Christ-ideal. 
So I am making for you the greatest, most in- 
clusive wish: that this Ideal may be yours to 
live, to strive for, to sacrifice for, and then only 
will you be truly satisfied. 




The rain that fell a-yesterday is ruby on the roses, 
Silver on the poplar leaf, and gold on willow-stem; 
The grief that chanced a-yesterday is silence that 

Holy loves, where Time and Change shall never 

trouble them. 

The rain that fell a-yesterday makes all the hill-side 

Coral, on the laurel, and beryl on the grass; 
The grief that chanced a-yesterday has taught the 

soul to listen 
For whispers of Eternity in all the winds that pass. 

O faint of heart! storm-beaten! this rain will gleam 

Flame within the columbine and jewel on the thorn, 
Heaven in the forget-me-not; though sorrow now be 

Yet sorrow shall be beauty in the magic of the 

morn. ' 

K. L. Bates. 


I KNOW a nature like a tree; 

Men seek its shade instinctively. 

It is a choir for singing birds, 

A court for the flocks and herds. 

It grows and grows, and asks not why, 

But reaches up into the sky, 

And stretches down into the soil. 

Finding no trouble in its toil. 

It flaunts no scar to tell of pain. 

Self-healed, its wounds have closed again 

Unaided by its pensioners. 

And yet I know that great heart stirs 

To each appeal and claim, — indeed 

Leans to their lack and heeds their need. 

A. W. Bailey. 


I MEANT to do my work to-day, 
But a brown bird sang in the apple tree. 
And a butterfly flitted across the fields, 
And all the leaves were calling me. 

And the wind went sighing over the land, 
Tossing the grasses to and fro. 
And a rainbow held out its shining hand^ - 
So what could I do but laugh and go? 



I HEARD you touch a fairy thing 
That lured the trees to blossoming. 
I saw them flush, — and then you made 
Their green leaves greener as you played. 
You drew your bow so gently down 
I dared not breathe, lest breathing drown 
The tender little crooning tone 
That was a wood-thrush all alone. 
The tense string quivered, and I knew 
Whei-e grasses strange, with morning dew 
Climb a far hill I love, that all 
The drops they wore shone magical. 
Brimmed with the dawn, nor lovelier 
Than those your crystal measures were. 
The deepest forest-dusk you found 
With silver darts of moon-lit sound 
That pierced the trees reluctant crowd, 
And made the dryads laugh aloud; 
I hear them now, and one I hear 
Whose voice unearthly-thin and clear 
Bears trace as through the trees she slips 
Of wild-wood honey on her lips. 
But when your enigmatic mood 
Nor dawn nor dusk of a deep wood 
Nor dryad's laugh, nor thrush's song 
Nor April's blossoms would prolong, 
And only wayward beauty calls 
Along your argent intervals. 
Then am I tranced with listening, 
Lest my heart stir, or anything 


Within me question, and your soul 
Withdraw from mine its dear control; 
Like him, Grail-sent, whom named of men, 
The white swan bore away again. 

G. H. Conkling. 


Our lives are molded by the things we miss, 
Not by Love's answering eyes, not by his kiss, 
But by Love's hunger do we learn Love's bliss. 
Our growth must answer to the swell and strain 
Of thew and sinew toward the ultimate gain; 
The warrior's worth is measured by his pain. 
Upward our hopes are flung like tongues of fire; 
The dreams denied unendingly aspire; 
The soul must take the shape of its desire. 

M. C. Smith. 


Master, I learn this lesson from the trees: 
Not to grow old. The maple by my door 
Puts forth green leaves as cheerily as I 
When I was taller than this self-same tree 
Put forth my youthful longings. I have erred, 
Standing a bleak and barren, leafless thing 
Among my hopeful brothers, I am shamed. 
I will not be less hopeful than the trees; 
I will not cease to labor and aspire; 
I will not pause in patient, high endeavor; 
I will be young in heart until I die. 

Richard Kirk. 



God, though this life is but a wraith. 
Although we know not what we use. 
Although we grope with little faith, 
Give me the heart to fight — and lose. 
Ever in conflict let me be; 
Make me more daring than devout; 
From sleek contentment keep me free, 
And fill me with a buoyant doubt. 

Open my ears to music; let 

Me thrill with spring's first flutes and drums; 

But never let me dare forget 

The bitter ballads of the slums. 

From compromise and things half done. 
Keep me though all the world deride. 
And when at last the fight is won, 
God, keep me still unsatisfied. 

Louis Untermeyer. 


A LITTLE while to pass within the throng. 
To dream, to toil, to weep, to love, to die, - 
And then the silence and the closing Song, 
And no more of the riddle that was I. 

A thing of moments, scattered preciously, 
Across the level cause-way of the years! 


And yet what sudden light may I not see? 
What Vision making glory of my tears? 

Mayhap if I sing bravely, true, and well, 
My song shall strike God's universal rhyme, 
And like the echoes of a sweet stilled bell 
Live in the heart of heaven after Time. 

D. Burnet. 


Oh, I am tired out to-day. 
The whole world leans against my door: 
Cities and centuries. — I pray, — ' 

For praying makes me brave once more. 

I should have lived long, long ago, 
Before this age of steel and fire. 
I am not strong enough to throw 
A noose around my soul's desire. 

And strangle it, because it cries 
To keep its old unreasoned place 
In some bright, simple Paradise 
Before a God's too-human face. 

I know that in this breathless fray 
I am not fit to fight and cry. 
My soul grows faint and far-away 
From blood and shouting, till I fly, 

A blinded coward, back to hide 
My face against the dim old knees 


Of that too-human God, denied 
By these quick crashing centuries. 

And there I learn deep, secret things, 
Too frail for speech, too strong for doubt: 
How through the dark of demon-wings 
The same still face of God gleams out: 

How through the deadly riotous roar, 
The voice of God speaks on. And then 
I trust Him, as one might, before 
Faith grew too fond to comfort men. 

I should have lived far, far away 
From this great age of grime and gold. 
For still I know He hears me pray, — 
That close, too-human God of old! 

Fannie Stearns Davis. 


Fill me with fire and solace, gird me with speech 

That the word of my mouth be music, and the chord 

of my song be wine; 
For the soul that quivers within me would mystical 

things unfold. 
Though the world is weary of singing and the eyes of 

the world are cold. 
I am the deathless Vision, the Voice of memorial 



The Prince of the worid's rejoicing, the Prophet and 
Priest of tears. 

Have I not tasted rapture, have I not loved and 

Mounted the peaks of passion, with you been cruci- 

Come, I will lead you softly, through floods that are 
smooth and deep, 

And trailed with the shimmering curtain of dream- 
embroidered sleep; 

To the dim, mysterious portal, where the spirit of 
man may see 

The folds of the veil dividing himself from Eternity. 

Would you I bring my music? I'll pipe where the 
toilers go. 

And through your sweat and labor, the strains of my 
song shall flow; 

Dulcet-clear for your comfort, winged with a deli- 
cate fire, 

The shout of a strong heart chanting to the lift of a 
soul's desire! 

And whether you stay to hearken and drink of my 
healing spring, 

Or turn from the plaint of my tender, articulate whis- 

Ere ever ye came I was ancient; and after ye pass, I 
come, — 

The Voice that shall lift in rapture when the moan 
of the earth is dumb! 

Man Sullivan. 


A BOLT is shot back somewhere in our breast, 
And a lost pulse of feeling stirs again: 
The eye sinks inward, and the heart lies plain, 
And what we mean we say, and what we would, 

we know. 
A man becomes aware of his life's flow, 
And hears its winding murmur, and he sees 
The meadows where it glides, the sun, the breeze. 
And there arrives a lull in the hot race 
Wherein he doth forever chase 
That flying and elusive shadow, Rest. 
An air of coolness plays upon his face. 
And an unwonted calm pervades his breast. 
And then he thinks he knows 
The Hills where his life rose. 
And the Sea where it goes. 

(From "The Buried Life" of Matthew Arnold.) 


I WALK down the Valley of Silence — 
Down the dim, voiceless valley — alone! 
And I hear not the fall of a footstep 
Around me, save God's and my own; 
And the hush of my heart is as holy 
As hovers where angels have flown! 

Long ago was I weary of voices 
Whose music my heart could not win; 
Long ago was I weary of noises 
That fretted my soul with their din; 


Long ago was I weary of places 
Where I met but the human — and sin. 

I walked in the world with the worldly; 
I craved what the world never gave; 
And I said: "In the world each Ideal 
That shines like a star on life's wave. 
Is wrecked on the shores of the Real, 
And sleeps like a dream in a grave." 

And still did I pine for the Perfect, 
And still found the False with the True; 
I sought 'mid the Human for Heaven, 
But caught a mere glimpse of its Blue; 
And I wept when the clouds of the Mortal 
Veiled even that glimpse from my view. 

And I toiled on, heart-tired of the Human, 
And I moaned 'mid the mazes of men, 
Till I knelt, long ago, at an altar 
And I heard a voice call me. Since then 
I walk down the Valley of Silence 
That lies far beyond mortal ken. 

Do you ask what I found in the Valley? 
'Tis my Trysting Place with the Divine. 
And I fell at the feet of the Holy, 
And above me a voice said: "Be mine." 
And there arose from the depths of my spirit 
An echo — "My heart shall be thine." 


Do you ask how I live in the Valley? 

I weep — and I dream — and I pray. 

But my tears are as sweet as the dew-drops 

That fall on the roses in May; 

And my prayer, like a perfume from censers, 

Ascendeth to God night and day. 

In the hush of the Valley of Silence 

I dream all the songs that I sing; 

And the music floats down the dim Valley 

Till each finds a word for a wing. 

That to hearts, like the dove of the deluge, 

A message of Peace they may bring. 

But far on the deep there are billows 
That never shall break on the beach; 
And I have heard songs in the Silence 
That never shall float into speech; 
•And I have had dreams in the Valley 
Too lofty for language to reach. 

And I have seen Thoughts in the Valley — 
Ah! me, how my spirit was stirred! 
And they wear holy veils on their faces. 
Their footsteps can scarcely be heard: 
They pass through the Valley like virgins, 
Too pure for the touch of a word ! 

Do you ask me the place of the Valley, 
Ye hearts that are harrowed by care? 
It lieth afar between mountains, 


And God and His angels are there: 
And one is the dark mount of Sorrow, 
And one the bright mountain of Prayer. 

Father Ryan. 

From " The Marshes of Glynn." 

Ay, now, when my soul all day hath drunken the 

soul of the oak, 
And my heart is at ease from men, and the weari- 
some sound of the stroke 
Of the scythe of time and the trowel of trade is low. 
And belief overmasters doubt, and I know that I 

And my spirit is grown to a lordly great compass 

That the length and the breadth and the sweep of 

the marshes of Glynn 
Will work me no fear like the fear they have wrought 

me of yore 
When length was fatigue, and when breadth was 

but bitterness sore. 
And when terror and shrinking and dreary unnam- 

able pain 
Drew me out of the merciless miles of the plain, — 
Oh, now, unafraid, I am fain to face 
The vast sweet visage of space. 

Ye marshes, how candid and simple and nothing- 
withholding and free 

Ye publish yourselves to the sky and offer yourselves 
to the seal 


Tolerant plains, that suffer the sea and the rains and 

the sun, 
Ye spread and span like the catholic man who hath 

mightily won 
God out of knowledge and good out of infinite pain 
And sight out of blindness and purity out of a 

As the marsh-hen secretly builds on the watery sod. 
Behold I will build me a nest on the greatness of 

I will fly in the greatness of God as the marsh-hen 

In the freedom that fills all the space 'twixt the 

marsh and the skies: 
By so many roots as the marsh-grass sends in the sod 
I will heartily lay me a-hold on the greatness of God : 
Oh, like to the greatness of God is the greatness 

The range of the marshes, the liberal marshes of 


(From the Poems of Sidney Lanier. Copyright, 1884, 1891, 
by Mary D. Lanier. Published by Charles Scribner's Sons.) 




Tribute by Dean Russell 
We come here to-day to pay our tribute to a 
dear friend and colleague. We should be over- 
whelmed, if we were to allow ourselves to dwell 
upon our loss. How great it is you know full 
well. No other break in the chain that binds us 
together in our institutional life would be felt so 
keenly; no absentee from our circle could be so 
sorely missed as we miss her. So completely had 
she become one of us that her passing deprives 
us of something seemingly a part pf ourselves. 
It is characteristic of some of the finer human 
virtues that giving does not deplete the store of 
the giver. The more one gives of love and sym- 
pathy, the more one has to give. The silver lin- 
ing to the cloud that now enshrouds us is that she 

' Held on January 12 in the Milbank Chapel of Teachers 
College. Reproduced by permission from Teachers College Record, 
March, 1917. . . 


has taught us how to give unstintingly — to give 
our time, our energy, our means to forward every 
good work; taught us how to do the day's work 
in such a way as to bring the highest rewards; 
taught us how to live cheerfully even under the 
weight of pain and sorrow; and taught us how, 
by losing all, to gain complete mastery over 
death. She embodied, as few do, grace and 
charm of personality, exceptional intellectual 
power, and self-sacrificing devotion to duty. 
Her life was a constant inspiration to those of 
us who knew her as teacher and colleague. In 
her death we take courage and again resolve to 
carry on her work, in her own beautiful way, and 
for the high purpose that she ever put before us. 
We have with us to-day Dr. Thorndike, the 
teacher to whom she would probably acknowl- 
edge she owed more than to any one else. I 
think it is * peculiarly proper that Professor 
Thorndike should be asked to speak o{ her as a 
student and a teacher. 

Remarks by Professor Thorndike 
Out of the great richness of Professor Nors- 
worthy's service as teacher, woman, Christian, 
and as friend, it falls to me to spfeak of her wtork 


in the department that she served so long. After 
graduating from the Normal School at Trenton 
in 1896, and teaching for three years, Naomi 
Norsworthy came to Teachers College. At the 
end of her first year she became an assistant in 
the department of educational psychology. In 
the sixteen years since then she gave, as instruc- 
tor and professor, unfailing service and devo- 
tion to the College; no task that she was asked 
to perform was ever slighted, no problem of 
the department's work was ever neglected. Her 
work for the social and religious organizations of 
the College and her tireless care for individuals 
never caused her to abate full performance of 
her own teaching or cooperation in the depart- 
ment's responsibilities. She was offered money 
and power in large measure as an administra- 
tive officer in another institution — she could 
have had extended authority here; but she 
stayed by the work which she had begun and 
which never lost its interest. 

Of her skill in teaching you all know. At one 
time or another she taught a majority of the 
courses given in the department, both those 
for undergraduates and those for graduates — 
always with consummate success. Her success 


was the product not only of sympathetic insight 
into students' minds and response to their in- 
terests, but also of thorough, conscientious prep- 
aration. She dignified teaching, never making 
it secondary, either to scholarship or to educa- 
tional management. In her teaching, as in all 
her work, she was utterly devoid of ostentation; 
all thought of self was lost in the artistry of 
making students understand, remember, and 

To think of Professor Norsworthy is to think 
first of human love and charity. And this is 
fitting; for in no woman was human kindness 
more uniform and persistent. Her kindness was 
not, however, a diffuse benevolence, an indis- 
criminate sympathy. It was directed by acute 
thought and sound common sense. Her sense 
of workmanship never tolerated mercy where 
strict justice was needed. For sham, meanness, 
and disloyalty she had an honest, vehement 

Over three thousand men and women have 
been under her direct influence as her students. 
Every one of these, were they here, would bring 
his tribute of respect for her ability, reverence 
for her character, and affection for herself. Each 


of her colleagues in the department quickly 
learned to honor and love her. If anything was 
entrusted to her to do, all burden of anxiety for 
that matter fell at once from everybody else. If 
criticism came from her, we took it gladly. In 
every one of her successes we took pride. We 
tried to help her as she helped us. We shall try 
to honor her by maintaining the devotion to 
teaching and the sensitiveness to all human 
values which she never relaxed. 

Her energy and wisdom asked no praise. Her 
loyalty and love sought no reward. But a place 
in our minds as the perfect teacher and in our 
hearts forever as a perfect friend is the reward 
she would cherish — and that we give. 

Remarks by Professor Whitley 
It has been my privilege during fourteen years 
to know Miss Norsworthy intimately in at least 
three different capacities — as a teacher, as a 
co-member of the staff, and particularly as a 
close personal friend. 

Any one who has ever been a student of hers 
can testify not only to the wonderful charm of 
her personality, but also to her skill in her be- 
loved art of teaching. She had the ability so to 


guide a discussion that the timid were embold- 
ened to take part, the hazy thinkers were led to 
clear expression, the belligerent were rendered 
willing to compromise, and the stubborn were 
allowed to convince themselves of the opposite 
view from that which they had started. Her fer- 
tility In illustration made her class periods as 
interesting as her alertness in repartee made 
them enlivening. 

But to know Miss Norsworthy only in the 
classroom was to enjoy but one side of her. Shy 
and sensitive as she was, she preferred, and 
needed, in the summer vacation, to get away 
from large crowds and stay in some quiet coun- 
try place where for long days together she 
could rest in the open air. In the more intimate 
circle of family and friends there was still more 
of her gay, whimsical vivacity revealed. Because 
of her fragile physique she was debarred from 
the rougher kinds of sports ; but she spent many 
happy hours boating, bathing, driving, touring, 
or in exploration on foot of some secluded, 
woodsy spot. Refreshed by such summers, but 
never so built up physically as we could wish, 
she would return to the College still more ready 
for the blessedness of the giving of herself. 


Many groups can look back to happy asso- 
ciations with Miss Norsworthy. In committee 
work she knew how to handle a delicate situa- 
tion so that too individualistic members were 
led to a cooperation apparently self-suggested. 
Chaotic plans evolved into orderliness under 
her leadership, and discordant attitudes re- 
solved into harmony. Chiefly was she in demand 
in the religious organizations for the personal 
touch in which the more public lecture courses 
should culminate. By her gentle persuasiveness 
did she help others to greatness; above all by 
what she was in her daily living did she influ- 
ence others, as did Naomi of old, to decide, 
" Thy God shall be my God." 

Not only for groups but for untold numbers 
of individuals did Miss Norsworthy become, 
in quite other than the academic sense, adviser 
and friend. No office hours were ever long 
enough in which to interview the many who 
sought her help and sympathy. The corridor 
near her room has often, by its rows of chairs, 
witnessed eloquently to the length of time peo- 
ple were willing to wait if they could but get 
their turn at last to confide in the ever-ready 
listener. Even during the last two years, with 


the heavy strain of anxiety at home and with the 
handicap of nights broken by needed minis- 
trations for her mother, and at a time when 
already, had we but known, the fatal disease 
must have been at work in her system, even then 
Miss Norsworthy never spared herself, never 
ceased to give generously of her time and strength 
to any who came to ask of her. 

Too broad to be committed to a single friend- 
ship, she had the ability, so rare and so precious, 
of taking another and another and yet others 
into the close circle. There was the special, warm 
place in her heart for each. Of absolute sincer- 
ity and loyalty herself, she expected the same 
in those around her. Deep love and devotion 
have been the returns from the many who know 
themselves her friends. Hers was the winsome 
charm that drew people of all sorts. Hers was 
the intuitive knowledge to say that which 
brought relief to one in a state of unbearable 
tension. Hers was the way of looking at things 
that set conduct in an intelligible perspective. 
Hers was the gift to calm not merely by sooth- 
ing but by restoring self-control. Hers was the 
wisdom to avoid fostering a weakening self-pity, 
when a bracing resolution was necessary. 


Long ago she found and used these quotations 
as an aim to set before her in her friendship, — 
quotations which we, who knew her, feel reveal 
her best: "To have a true friend one must love 
Truth and Right better than he loves that 
friend." " Friend, come up higher — higher 
along with me, that you and I may be those 
true lovers who are nearest God when nearest 
to each other." 

It is hard to realize just now that we shall not 
have her dear physical presence any more; but 
we should have failed in all the fruitage of her 
friendship did we not answer to the increased 
responsibility now ours to interpret in heart and 
life what such a personality has meant. It seems 
to me she is still, from her new life, to which she 
looked forward for greater opportunities of love 
and service, sending the same message, " Friend, 
come up higher." "For I am persuaded that 
neither death, nor life, nor things present nor 
things to come . . . can separate us from love." 

Closing Remarks by Dean Russell . 
It is suggestive that in speaking of her we 
say "Miss Norsworthy." Even when speaking 
of her scholarship she was not mentioned as 


"Dr. Norsworthy" and but seldom (and al- 
ways in official relations, merely in speak- 
ing of her College work) was she mentioned as 
"Professor Norsworthy." Miss Norsworthy — ' 
woman, generous, sympathetic, loving, and yet 
fragile; it is the womanliness that stands out, 
the personality that attracts us most, because 
she used her personality, she used her talents, 
she used her scholarship, she used that marked 
skill in teaching for the attainment of an ideal. 
That is why she came so close to us. That is 
why we miss her so much, and shall miss her. 
This is not, perhaps, the time or place to tell 
of her accomplishments in College work or what 
she has done for our young women's social and 
religious organizations generally, and of the 
extended influences of that work in other insti- 
tutions besides ours. I think these matters have 
been touched upon more beautifully than I can 
present them, but we must not forget the fact 
that she had the Great Teacher's instinct and 
the Master's spirit which led her to use all that 
she possessed in the service of others. . In testi- 
mony of that I am getting every day letters from 
former students who somehow feel that they 
must express what has already been said here 


to some one connected with the College. The day 
of her funeral I received in the morning's mail 
a Christmas card with the word "Merry" 
stricken out and in its place a gold piece, asking 
me to deposit it with the Treasurer as the be- 
ginning of a fund in memory of Miss Norsworthy. 
A few days later I opened another letter from a 
teacher in Brooklyn, another of her former stu- 
dents, pledging one hundred dollars to a fund. 
No one had suggested a fund. It was just the 
spontaneous expression of her students' desire 
to give some tangible expression of the deep love 
and affection that they and we feel for her. 

Prayer by Chaplain Knox 
O God, our Heavenly Father, who by the 
guiding of Thy Spirit has raised up those who 
have been Thy witnesses among men and the 
Light of the world in their several generations, 
we give unto Thee our heartfelt gratitude and 
praise for the life of her who has been a true 
witness and light unto us, alike our companion 
and teacher, our counselor and our friend. 

We thank Thee for the rare talents of intel- 
lectual power with which she was so richly en- 
dowed and which she faithfully devoted to a 


larger understanding of the mysteries of the 
mind, and to a seeking of the truth which sets 
men free: 

For those generous qualities of heart and soul 
which so endeared her to us, enabling her to 
enter with sympathetic insight into the lives 
of all who came in contact with her, there to 
awaken the new resolve and unveil the higher 
vision : 

And for the faith that she so grandly won 
and lived, by which her life was ever joined with 
Him who said, " I go to prepare a place for you, 
that where I am, ye may be also." 

Grant that her life, and the rich heritage she 
has left, may ever abide with us, adding through 
the unending years to the honor and fame of the 
University, to which she freely gave herself, a 
strength and inspiration to all who go forth from 
this place to live, as she lived, in the service of 
Thine eternal Kingdom! 

We ask it in the Name of Him who is the 
Way, the Truth, and the Life. Amen. 




Adler, Felix, 156. 

Arnold, Matthew, letter refer- 
ence, 3o6; quotations from, 
211, 222. 

Association of Superintendents, 
N.E.A., 82, 106; letter refer- 
ence, 194. 

Bailey, A. W., poem, "I know 
a nature lilie a tree," 215. 

Bates, K. L., poem, "Yester- 
day's Grief," 214. 

"Brethren," Plymouth Breth- 
ren, 8, 9, 23-25, 39, 63. 

Bronte family, 49. 

Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, 

Browning, Robert, 161, 174; 

letter reference, 185. 
Burnet, D., poem, "Dedica- 
tion," 218. 

Carlyle, Thomas, 8, 9. 

Carnegie Institute of Technol- 
ogy, letter references, 199- 

Columbia University, 34, 3Si 
91, 106. 

Conkling, G. H., poem, "Violin 

bavls, Tatinie Steanse, 7001)1, 
"Faith," 219, 220. 

Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 94. 
England, birthplace of parents, 

19, 20; love for, 19, 20, 51. 
Ethical Culture School, IPS. 

Gosse, Edmund, 24, 25. 
6rahame, Kenneth, 149. 

"How to Teach," 6, IIJ. 
Hugo, Victor, 89. 

James, William 171. 

Jameson, Mrs., letter reference, 

Johnson, Dr. Samuel, 14J. 

Kempis, Thomas a, 134. 
Kirk, Richard, poem, "Lesson 

of the Trees," 217. 
Kno2, Chaplain, prayer by, 237, 


La Farge, John, 163. 

Lanier, Sidney, 149J excerpts 

from "The Marshes of 

Glynn," 325, 226. 

Madridge, Eva Ann, mother of 
Naomi Norsworthy, 18; early 
years, 19-22; characteristics, 
26-33; religious convictions, 
22, 23, 25, 28; training of chil- 
dren, 27-3S, 42, 47; death, 
37; letter references, 185, 193, 

Morristown, New Jersey, 67. 

National >'Coq^reK of .Mothers, 
letter teinTeacc^ 183. 

Normal, Trenton Stote, 33, 60* 

Norsworthy, Naomi, reasons for 
biography of, 3, 5, 7; difficul- 
ties of true delineation, 4-1 1, 
16, 17; distaste for publicity, 
5; minimizing of herself, 5, 
iij I2-IS, S0> 78, 170; author- 
ship, 6, no. III, 119; public 
ijHalaag, 6, Sj, 95, 114; let- 



ters, intimacy of, 6, 175 (ex- 
tracts from, 177-213); mys- 
tery of her personality, 8-12; 
professional rank, 9, 68, 72; 
devotion to Teachers Col- 
lege, 10, 99-100, loi, 106, 
121, 137; powers of inspira- 
tion, S, 10-12, 74, 77; 82, 83, 
86, 88, 89; desire for service, 
II, 57, 81, 99-100. 107, no, 
131-34, 165-67, 228; prodi- 
gality, 15-16, 87, 107-08, 
131-34, 165-67; reserve, 13, 
153; universality, 16, 88, 165, 
168; devotion to mother, 18, 
37i 38; origin of name, 22; 
religious convictions, 23, 25, 
28; brothers, 34-35. 4.*. 4^. 
53, 120, 121; academic de- 
grees, 35, 69, 70; birth, birth- 
place, 39; formative influ- 
ences, 18-38, 42, 48, SI, 53- 
57; Spartan note, 37, 41; se- 
cluded childhood, 28, 46, 48, 
49; drill in Bible, 42, 57; phys- 
ical quickness, 45, 75, 126; 
childhood names, 46, 47; 
range of tastes, 50, 53, 74, 
149, 153; desire to teach, 50, 
66-67; physical handicaps, 
52, 61, 63, 126, 136; sensi- 
tivity, 53-54, 127; respon- 
siveness, 54, 118, 14S, 149, 
iS'i '54; **r'y education, 
49. 56. S7. S8; "gaps" in edu- 
cation, 59, 60, 67; normal 
school, 60-67; determination 
to enter Teachers College, 67; 
first teaching post in Morris- 
town, New Jersey, 67; matric- 
ulation in Teachers College, 
67; interest in chemistry, 07; 
pychology as field for special- 
ization, 68; student assistant, 
68; service in Teachers Col- 
lege, 69, I^; doctorate thesis, 
70; gjfts as a teacher, /l^ 73, 

74; social element in teaching, 
71, 74; aims as a teacher, 72, 
73, 232; conduct of a recita- 
tion, 72-76; large classes, 
77; principles emphasized in 
teaching, 72, 76-78, 92-93; 
anecdotes of teaching, 77-80; 
shyness, 78, 96, 129, 130 (let- 
ter reference, 190) ; clarity, 77, 
82; scholarship, 58, 62, 64, 
68, 81, 82, 86; tact, 87, 97, 
134, 144, 1^5; Adviser of 
Women, 89; interest in reli- 
gious work, 90, 91; interest in 
democracy, 90, 95; opinion of 
vocational education, 92, 93; 
attitude towards Suffrage, 
10, 94; talks in chapel, 97, 
98; fighting ability, 45, 99; 
strength of will, 103, 104, 122, 
123, 136-38; varied and cease- 
less demands, 69, 89, 90, 99, 
104, 105, 106, 107, 108-10; 
effects of mother's illness, 
1 1 1-14; physical decline, 114- 
24; fondness for children, 119, 
122, 149; death, 124; physical 
appearance, 125, 126, 128; 
sympathy, 89, 154, 157, 165, 
17s. 176; generosity, 131-34; 
love for truth, 134, 135; love 
for poetry, 149, 150, 153 (let- 
ter reference, 185); childlike 
qualities, 138, 150, 151; sense 
of humor, 139; courage, 128, 
140; mentality, 62, 64, 140, 
143; imagination, 142; con- 
centration, 137, 143; pricle, 
143, 144; scorn, 145; sanity, 
145; stubbornness, 146; im- 
patience, 147; impulsiveness, 
151; temperament, 148-54; 
joy in life, 118, 128, 150 (let- 
ter reference, 189, 190); opti- 
mism, 151, 153, 171, 172; 
Celtic notis, 153^ ideaU, 157- 
74; individuauBtn, i62-«4; 



attitude towards friendship, 
167, 168 (letter reference, 
196) ; large faith in humanity, 
168; idealism the key-note of 
life, 173; attitude towards 
death, 174. 
Norsworthy, Samuel B., father 
of Naomi, 19-ai, 39, 30, 31, 

Orange, New Jersey, 29, 30, 31, 

Psychology as professional field, 
68, 72; assistant professor of, 


"Pyschology of Childhood," 6, 
no. III, 119. 

"Psychology of Mentally Defi- 
cient Children," thesis, 70. 

Russell, Dean James E., Fore- 
word by; tribute from, 235, 

Rutherford, New Jersey, 30, 33, 

S2, 56- 
Ryan, Father, poem, "Song of 
the Mystic," 222, 224. 

Sera, Professor, 129-34. 
Shakespeare, William, letter 
reference, 196. 

Smith, M. C, poem, "Dreams 

Denied," 217. 
Sullivan, Alan, poem, "The 

Seer," 220, 221. 

Teachers' Associations, 106; let- 
ter reference, 183, 193, 194, 

Teachers College, official rank 
of Naomi Norsworthy, 9, 72; 
tributes from faculty of, 81, 
82, 88, 99, 227-38; letter refer- 
ences, 183, 193, 194, 200, 202. 

Thorndike, Professor Edward 
L., quoted, 68; tribute from, 

Untermeyer, Louis, poem, "A 
Prayer," 218. 

Van Dyke, Henry, letter quo- 
tation, 196. 
Vocational Education, 92-93. 

Wells, H. G., 157. 
Whitley, Professor M. T., trib- 
ute from, 231-35. 
Woman's Faculty Club, 81, 105. 
Wordsworth, William, 13. 

Young Women's Christian As- 
sociation, 85, go, 105. 

(Cbe Ctiber^be T^tt^f 

U . S . A 

'T i iiiiHi^^ 

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